David Booth is Professor of Marine Ecology and ex President of the Australian Coral Reef Society. He has published over 130 papers in reef-fish ecology, climate change and other anthropogenic impacts on fishes and fisheries, in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Great Barrier Reef, and studies how tropical fish travel down the East Australian Current past Sydney. He researches fishes in estuaries around Sydney, the ecology and behaviour of threatened fishes such as seadragons, black cod and white sharks and the ecology of the deep sea. He is also a strong advocate of sustainable fisheries and marine parks.
David has been at UTS since 1994. Previously he was an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and a Visiting Professor at the University of the Virgin Islands. He has an active postdoctoral and graduate student group, and is Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences (SIMS) (opens an external site). He currently collaborates with NSW Department of Primary Industry, NSW Dept of Environment and Conservation,, UTS Microstructural Analysis Unit, Oregon State University, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the University of the Virgin Islands.
Recent external grants received
2005 - 2007 ARC Discovery Grant
The mechanisms of success in coral reef fishes
2005 - 2007 ARC Discovery Grant (With B Kelaher)
Trophic cascades in seagrasses
2005-2007 ARC Linkage Grant
Ecology of Black Cod (Epinephalus sp.)
2003 - 2004 ARC Discovery Grant
Living on the edge: settlement dynamics of reef fishes across their ranges (With Prof. M. Hixon, Oregon State University)
2003-2005 ARC Linkage Grant
The impact of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in sewage contaminated waters on aquatic biota (with Dr. R Lim UTS, Sydney Water, NSW EPA)
2003-2005 Centre for Field Studies (USA)
The impacts of terrestrial development on marine communities adjacent to the US Virgin Islands, Caribbean
1999 - 2002 ARC Large Grant
Condition, survival and recruitment of reef fishes
1999 - 2001 Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC)
Population dynamnics of long-finned eels in NSW (with Dr B Pease, NSW Fisheries)
2001 - 2004 ARC SPIRT Grant
Genetics and population demography of threatened frogs in Sydney, Australia (With NPWS, State Forests, Transgrid, AGL)
1999 - 2002 ARC (SPIRT)
Reproduction and stock structure of longfinned eels, Anguilla reinhardti (With NSW Fisheries, Southern Cross University)
1996 - 1999 ARC (SPIRT)
Estuarine dependence of sparid fishes (with Australian Museum)
1995 - 1996 Berowra Creek Estuary Management Committee
Fishes as bioindicators of estuarine health (with Hawkesbury-Nepean Trust)
1996 - 1998 Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation
The impacts of degraded water quality on the survival, reproduction and behaviour of temperate marine fishes
Relevant Technical Skills
NSW Coxswain (Trading)
QLD Coxswain (Trading)
Radiotelephone Operator's License
St. Johns Senior First Aid
FAUI Openwater SCUBA certification (over 2000 logged dives)
Membership of Professional Bodies
Gilbert Ichthyological Society
Australian Marine Science Association (President NSW Branch)
Australian Coral Reef Society (Councillor)
Western Society of Naturalists (USA)
Berowra Catchment Management Committee (Chairman since 1998)
Scholarly Society Membership
Australian Marine Science Association (past councillor)
Australian Coral Reef Society (councillor)
Gilbert Ichthyological Society (USA)
Ecological Society of America
Australian Antarctic Society (Founding Member)
Coral Reef Research Institute board member
Chair, Berowra Catchment Management Committee
Convenor, NSW AMSA
Why are we so reluctant to protect marine species from destruction?
New project uncovers more of the deep sea" ABC 7.30 6th July 2011
Could oil rigs be used to protect the deep sea?
Weedy Seadragons Catalyst 10th September 2009
UTS Newsroom stories 2005 - present
- Coral reef fish ecology: inter- and intra specific interactions, role of reef fishes in communities
- Early life history of reef fishes, particularly physiology and ecology of recruits: how do events occurring over the short settlement period influence population structure for reef fishes?
- Impacts of pollution on fitness of estuarine and marine fishes: can anthropogenic pollutants influence fitness of fishes? Can aspects of fish ecology and physiology act as effective biomonitors of pollution?
- Diet and condition of marine and estuarine fishes.
- Influence of herbivores on reef ecosystems.
- Modelling dynamics of fish ecology
Community and Population Ecology
Temperate Marine Ecosystems
Coral Reef Ecosystems
Individual Student Projects
Coastal Resources and GIS
© 2019 Fishery dependent and independent survey programs for multi-species trawl fisheries often employ subsampling to increase efficiency, but this is not usually accompanied by any quantitative analysis to optimise its application. Here, we measure the effect of subsampling on the information generated from trawl surveys, and provide relationships to assist the interpretation of data derived from such surveys, and confidence in associated estimates for future studies. A commercial fishing vessel was chartered to perform normal fishing operations, and various proportional subsamples (by weight) were sorted from each tow. Overall, 50 % of total species diversity in a sample would be detected if only 10 % of the total sample mass was sorted, however abundance estimates of individual species under different subsampling scenarios varied depending on their rarity. For common species, the abundance in a sample was estimated with reasonable accuracy from sorting only 10 % of the biomass, whereas sorting >60 % of the biomass was required to obtain an accurate estimate of abundance for rarer species. The careful consideration of program objectives is important in optimising the sampling approach employed, as subsampling may not be appropriate for detection of rare species. The patterns presented here provide a quantitative basis to support sampling and sorting methodology for multispecies trawl samples, as well quantifying the implications of subsampling on the confidence in estimates of diversity or abundance.
Djurichkovic, LD, Donelson, JM, Fowler, AM, Feary, DA & Booth, DJ 2019, 'The effects of water temperature on the juvenile performance of two tropical damselfishes expatriating to temperate reefs', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Levin, LA, Bett, BJ, Gates, AR, Heimbach, P, Howe, BM, Janssen, F, McCurdy, A, Ruhl, HA, Snelgrove, P, Stocks, KI, Bailey, D, Baumann-Pickering, S, Beaverson, C, Benfield, MC, Booth, DJ, Carreiro-Silva, M, Colaço, A, Eblé, MC, Fowler, AM, Gjerde, KM, Jones, DOB, Katsumata, K, Kelley, D, Bris, NL, Leonardi, AP, Lejzerowicz, F, Macreadie, PI, McLean, D, Meitz, F, Morato, T, Netburn, A, Pawlowski, J, Smith, CR, Sun, S, Uchida, H, Vardaro, MF, Venkatesan, R & Weller, RA 2019, 'Global observing needs in the deep ocean', Frontiers in Marine Science, vol. 6, no. May.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2019 Levin, Bett, Gates, Heimbach, Howe, Janssen, McCurdy, Ruhl, Snelgrove, Stocks, Bailey, Baumann-Pickering, Beaverson, Benfield, Booth, Carreiro-Silva, Colaço, Eblé, Fowler, Gjerde, Jones, Katsumata, Kelley, Le Bris, Leonardi, Lejzerowicz, Macreadie, McLean, Meitz, Morato, Netburn, Pawlowski, Smith, Sun, Uchida, Vardaro, Venkatesan and Weller. The deep ocean below 200 m water depth is the least observed, but largest habitat on our planet by volume and area. Over 150 years of exploration has revealed that this dynamic system provides critical climate regulation, houses a wealth of energy, mineral, and biological resources, and represents a vast repository of biological diversity. A long history of deep-ocean exploration and observation led to the initial concept for the Deep-Ocean Observing Strategy (DOOS), under the auspices of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). Here we discuss the scientific need for globally integrated deep-ocean observing, its status, and the key scientific questions and societal mandates driving observing requirements over the next decade. We consider the Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) needed to address deep-ocean challenges within the physical, biogeochemical, and biological/ecosystem sciences according to the Framework for Ocean Observing (FOO), and map these onto scientific questions. Opportunities for new and expanded synergies among deep-ocean stakeholders are discussed, including academic-industry partnerships with the oil and gas, mining, cable and fishing industries, the ocean exploration and mapping community, and biodiversity conservation initiatives. Future deep-ocean observing will benefit from the greater integration across traditional disciplines and sectors, achieved through demonstration projects and facilitated reuse and repurposing of existing deep-sea data efforts. We highlight examples of existing and emerging deep-sea methods and technologies, noting key challenges associated with data volume, preservation, ...
Sommer, B, Fowler, AM, Macreadie, PI, Palandro, DA, Aziz, AC & Booth, DJ 2019, 'Decommissioning of offshore oil and gas structures - Environmental opportunities and challenges.', The Science of the total environment, vol. 658, pp. 973-981.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Thousands of offshore oil and gas structures are approaching the end of their operating life globally, yet our understanding of the environmental effects of different decommissioning strategies is incomplete. Past focus on a narrow set of criteria has limited evaluation of decommissioning effects, restricting decommissioning options in most regions. We broadly review the environmental effects of decommissioning, analyse case studies, and outline analytical approaches that can advance our understanding of ecological dynamics on oil and gas structures. We find that ecosystem functions and services increase with the age of the structure and vary with geographical setting, such that decommissioning decisions need to take an ecosystem approach that considers their broader habitat and biodiversity values. Alignment of decommissioning assessment priorities among regulators and how they are evaluated, will reduce the likelihood of variable and sub-optimal decommissioning decisions. Ultimately, the range of allowable decommissioning options must be expanded to optimise the environmental outcomes of decommissioning across the broad range of ecosystems in which platforms are located.
Yiu, BA, Booth, DJ, Fowler, AM & Feary, DA 2019, 'Macroalgal resource use differences across age and size classes in the dominant temperate herbivorous fish Aplodactylus lophodon (Aplodactylidae)', Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 70, no. 4, pp. 531-540.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2018 CSIRO. Herbivorous fishes comprise a substantial proportion of temperate fish communities, although there is little understanding of their trophic resource use and whether this changes throughout post-settlement ontogeny. With increasing loss of macroalgal forests, understanding how temperate fishes use macroalgae will be vital in predicting future effects on temperate fish biodiversity. The Australian rock cale (Aplodactylus lophodon) is one of the most abundant herbivorous fish inhabiting shallow temperate south-eastern Australian reefs. We examined gastrointestinal contents throughout ontogeny and demonstrated that this species maintains a herbivorous diet through all life stages. Differences in algal taxa consumed were apparent through ontogeny, with the juvenile diet dominated by filamentous red and green algae and the adult diet dominated by brown and calcareous red algae. Relative gut length increased through ontogeny, potentially facilitating dietary transition to less digestible algae, but no concurrent increase in jaw power was observed. The results highlight the diversity of trophic resource use in a temperate marine herbivore, but the near-complete dominance of dietary algae throughout ontogeny indicates the reliance on primary producers across all life stages. Given the importance of fucoid resources in the adult diet, any loss of macroalgal forests within south-eastern Australia may affect foraging success and persistence.
Donelson, JM, Sunday, JM, Figueira, WF, Gaitán-Espitia, JD, Hobday, AJ, Johnson, CR, Leis, JM, Ling, SD, Marshall, D, Pandolfi, JM, Pecl, G, Rodgers, GG, Booth, DJ & Munday, PL 2019, 'Understanding interactions between plasticity, adaptation and range shifts in response to marine environmental change.', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 374, no. 1768.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Climate change is leading to shifts in species geographical distributions, but populations are also probably adapting to environmental change at different rates across their range. Owing to a lack of natural and empirical data on the influence of phenotypic adaptation on range shifts of marine species, we provide a general conceptual model for understanding population responses to climate change that incorporates plasticity and adaptation to environmental change in marine ecosystems. We use this conceptual model to help inform where within the geographical range each mechanism will probably operate most strongly and explore the supporting evidence in species. We then expand the discussion from a single-species perspective to community-level responses and use the conceptual model to visualize and guide research into the important yet poorly understood processes of plasticity and adaptation. This article is part of the theme issue 'The role of plasticity in phenotypic adaptation to rapid environmental change'.
Figueira, WF, Curley, B & Booth, DJ 2019, 'Can temperature-dependent predation rates regulate range expansion potential of tropical vagrant fishes?', Marine Biology, vol. 166, no. 6.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. The effect of temperature on predator–prey dynamics has the potential to be an important factor regulating ecological interactions and is becoming increasingly common due to climate-change-driven range shifts and species introductions. Here, we use mesocosm experiments to evaluate the thermal sensitivity of burst swimming (a proxy for prey escape ability) and mortality rates of cohorts of introduced tropical and resident temperate marine fishes in the presence of a local temperate predator. Increasing temperature (17–21–25 °C) resulted in a reduction in predation rates (by Hypoplectrodes maccullochi, family Serranidae) on the tropical prey species (Abudefduf vaigiensis, family Pomacentridae) which were more warm adapted, whereas predation rates on the temperate prey species (Atypichthys strigatus, family Kyphosidae) remained unchanged over the 17–21 °C range (25 °C not tested). These changes were linearly related to predator–prey burst swimming ratios, which decreased with increasing temperature for the tropical prey but remained largely unchanged for the temperate prey. By demonstrating the temperature sensitivity of predator–prey interactions, our work highlights the importance of linking physiology with ecology to understand the consequences of climate-driven range shifts and species introductions.
Kingsbury, KM, Gillanders, BM, Booth, DJ & Nagelkerken, I 2019, 'Trophic niche segregation allows range-extending coral reef fishes to co-exist with temperate species under climate change', GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Kingsbury, KM, Gillanders, BM, Booth, DJ, Coni, EOC & Nagelkerken, I 2019, 'Range-extending coral reef fishes trade-off growth for maintenance of body condition in cooler waters', Science of The Total Environment, pp. 134598-134598.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Paijmans, KC, Booth, DJ & Wong, MYL 2019, 'Towards an ultimate explanation for mixed-species shoaling', Fish and Fisheries, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 921-933.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd The formation of social groups has important impacts on fitness for many animal species, with differences in group compositions resulting in a range of fitness outcomes for individuals. Recent interest in mixed-species grouping, which extends from a large body of literature invested in understanding single-species grouping, highlights novel complexities of group formation which relate to phenotypic, behavioural and physiological differences that naturally exist between species. Among fishes, mixed-species shoaling is a common form of social grouping behaviour displayed across a range of marine and freshwater ecosystems. Research explaining mixed-species shoaling shows some overlap with explanations for single-species shoaling; however, it also demonstrates that distinct differences between species give rise to unique cost-benefit trade-offs which need to be incorporated into conceptual models of mixed-species shoaling behaviour. Unique predation related trade-offs may arise from inefficiency of the confusion effect, variation in vigilance between species and unequal species-preferences shown by predators, whilst unique foraging-related trade-offs may arise from diet partitioning, variations in foraging behaviour and differences in competitive abilities between species. We review the literature on fitness outcomes associated with mixed-species shoaling and present a new theoretical framework to explain the cost-benefit trade-offs for individuals within mixed-species shoals. The framework incorporates both trade-offs arising from differences between species and those arising from group size, the former having been largely ignored due to a focus on single-species shoaling. Our framework is designed to inform future research striving to explain mixed-species shoaling behaviour.
Fowler, AM, Parkinson, K & Booth, DJ 2018, 'New poleward observations of 30 tropical reef fishes in temperate southeastern Australia', Marine Biodiversity, vol. 48, no. 4, pp. 2249-2254.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2017 Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany A major outcome of climate change is the poleward shift of species ranges. We use a long-term (16-year) monitoring program to report new poleward observations of the juvenile stages of 30 tropical reef fishes expatriating to temperate southeastern Australia, a global hotspot for ocean warming. Expatriated juveniles (vagrants) from 10 families and 20 genera were observed for the first time on rocky reefs in southern New South Wales, between 57 and 801 km poleward of their previously recorded locations. Vagrants were functionally diverse, ranging from small planktivores (e.g. Dascyllus trimaculatus) through to a large piscivore/invertivore (Epinephelus cyanopodus). Tropical herbivores comprised 20% of vagrant species, with four species (Acanthurus dussumieri, A. lineatus, A. nigrofuscus, A. olivaceus) recognised as grazers of epilithic algae and one species (Naso unicornis) known to feed selectively on macroalgae. Pelagic larval duration (PLD) ranged greatly among vagrant species, with shorter PLDs suggesting sub-tropical breeding populations for some species. As water temperatures continue to increase in southeastern Australia under climate change, the greater supply and survival of tropical vagrants may alter the functioning of temperate reefs in this region.
Macreadie, PI, McLean, DL, Thomson, PG, Partridge, JC, Jones, DOB, Gates, AR, Benfield, MC, Collin, SP, Booth, DJ, Smith, LL, Techera, E, Skropeta, D, Horton, T, Pattiaratchi, C, Bond, T & Fowler, AM 2018, 'Eyes in the sea: Unlocking the mysteries of the ocean using industrial, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).', The Science of the total environment, vol. 634, pp. 1077-1091.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
For thousands of years humankind has sought to explore our oceans. Evidence of this early intrigue dates back to 130,000BCE, but the advent of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in the 1950s introduced technology that has had significant impact on ocean exploration. Today, ROVs play a critical role in both military (e.g. retrieving torpedoes and mines) and salvage operations (e.g. locating historic shipwrecks such as the RMS Titanic), and are crucial for oil and gas (O&G) exploration and operations. Industrial ROVs collect millions of observations of our oceans each year, fueling scientific discoveries. Herein, we assembled a group of international ROV experts from both academia and industry to reflect on these discoveries and, more importantly, to identify key questions relating to our oceans that can be supported using industry ROVs. From a long list, we narrowed down to the 10 most important questions in ocean science that we feel can be supported (whole or in part) by increasing access to industry ROVs, and collaborations with the companies that use them. The questions covered opportunity (e.g. what is the resource value of the oceans?) to the impacts of global change (e.g. which marine ecosystems are most sensitive to anthropogenic impact?). Looking ahead, we provide recommendations for how data collected by ROVs can be maximised by higher levels of collaboration between academia and industry, resulting in win-win outcomes. What is clear from this work is that the potential of industrial ROV technology in unravelling the mysteries of our oceans is only just beginning to be realised. This is particularly important as the oceans are subject to increasing impacts from global change and industrial exploitation. The coming decades will represent an important time for scientists to partner with industry that use ROVs in order to make the most of these 'eyes in the sea'.
Thomson, PG, Fowler, AM, Davis, AR, Pattiaratchi, CB & Booth, DJ 2018, 'Some old movies become classics - a case study determining the scientific value of ROV inspection footage on a platform on Australia's North West Shelf', Frontiers in Marine Science, vol. 5, no. DEC.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2018 Thomson, Fowler, Davis, Pattiaratchi and Booth. The global oil and gas industry holds a vast archive of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) inspection footage potentially containing useful long-term data on marine biological communities. With the upcoming era of decommissioning of oil and gas structures, it is timely to assess the usefulness of this footage for researching these communities. We used ROV inspection footage to characterize the sessile invertebrates and fishes associated with the Goodwyn Alpha Production Platform (GWA) on the North West Shelf of Australia between depths of 10 and 125 m during 2006 and 2008. Depth was a major driver of invertebrate assemblages, most likely due to specific requirements such as light, and differences between years were most likely from the physical detachment of species by cyclones and internal waves. Phototrophic species were mostly limited to the upper 50 m of the platform, including the hard coral Pocillopora sp. and the soft corals Nephthea sp. and Scleronephthya sp. In contrast, heterotrophic species including sponges, anemones, bryozoans, hydroids, bivalves such as Lopha folium and the hard coral Tubastrea spp., were distributed across all depths. We observed 1791 fish from at least 10 families and 19 species, including commercial species such as crimson seaperch (Lutjanus erythropterus), red emperor (L. sebae), saddle-tailed seaperch (L. malabaricus), mangrove jack (L. argentimaculatus) and trevally (Caranx spp.). Fish density increased significantly with depth during 2008, from a mean of 23 fish/50 m2 between 10 and 25 m to 3373 fish/50 m2 at 125 m, where small unidentified baitfish were abundant. The highest densities of commercial species occurred between 25 and 75 m depth, suggesting that mid-depth platform sections had high habitat value, a consideration when selecting decommissioning options. The greatest difficulties using the video were the poor lighting and resolution that inhibited our ability to id...
Booth, DJ, Beretta, G, Brown, L & Figueira, W 2018, 'Predicting Success of Range-Expanding Coral Reef Fish in Temperate Habitats Using Temperature-Abundance Relationships', Frontiers in Marine Science, vol. 5.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
An 18-year database of coral reef fish expatriation poleward in South East Australia was
used to estimate persistence of coal reef fish recruits on temperate reefs. Surveys have
identified over 150 coral reef fish species recruiting to temperate reefs at latitudes of
34◦S (Sydney) and 60 species to 37◦S (Merimbula) with 20 and 5 species respectively
overwintering in at least 1 year over the study duration. We developed indices of
vulnerability of key species to drops in water temperatures, by relating drops in
abundances of species to temperature drops. Twenty species were ranked according
to their temperature vulnerability. Overall, the families Chaetodontidae (butterflyfishes),
Acanthuridae (surgeonfishes), Labridae (wrasses) and Pomacetnridae (damselfishes) had
similar cold-water tolerance. However, there was considerable variability within families,
for instance in the Pomacentridae, species from the genus Abudefduf appeared to
have better cold-temperature tolerance than the other species. Predicted minimum
overwintering temperature varied from 15.6◦C to 19.8◦C, with some species showing
lower Tzero at Merimbula, the more poleward location. There was general concordance
between a species’ tolerance to cold-water and its tendency to occur as an overwinter
but also notable exceptions. So while this work demonstrates the potential utility of
tolerance to seasonal temperature drops as a means to predict range expansion
capacity of vagrant species, the exceptional cases serve to highlight alternative factors.
Specifically, tolerance to seasonal cooling of water is not the only important factor
when predicting the range expansion capacity of a species. Factors affecting the
general abundance of the vagrants, such as habitat suitability and competitor/predator
environments will also be critical where overwinter survival becomes a lottery.
Booth, DJ 2018, 'Environmental benefits of leaving offshore infrastructure in the ocean', Frontiera in Ecology and the Environment, vol. 16, no. 10, pp. 571-578.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The removal of thousands of structures associated with oil and gas development from the world's oceans is well underway, yet the environmental impacts of this decommissioning practice remain unknown. Similar impacts will be associated with the eventual removal of offshore wind turbines. We conducted a global survey of environmental experts to guide best decommissioning practices in the North Sea, a region with a substantial removal burden. In contrast to current regulations, 94.7% of experts (36 out of 38) agreed that a more flexible case‐by‐case approach to decommissioning could benefit the North Sea environment. Partial removal options were considered to deliver better environmental outcomes than complete removal for platforms, but both approaches were equally supported for wind turbines. Key considerations identified for decommissioning were biodiversity enhancement, provision of reef habitat, and protection from bottom trawling, all of which are negatively affected by complete removal. We provide recommendations to guide the revision of offshore decommissioning policy, including a temporary suspension of obligatory removal.
Booth, DJ & Hammill, E 2018, 'Benthic meiofaunal community response to the cascading effects of herbivory within an algal halo system of the Great Barrier Reef', PLoS ONE, vol. 13, no. 3.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Cinner, JE, Maire, E, Huchery, C, MacNeil, MA, Graham, NAJ, Mora, C, McClanahan, TR, Barnes, ML, Kittinger, JN, Hicks, CC, D'Agata, S, Hoey, AS, Gurney, GG, Feary, DA, Williams, ID, Kulbicki, M, Vigliola, L, Wantiez, L, Edgar, GJ, Stuart-Smith, RD, Sandin, SA, Green, A, Hardt, MJ, Beger, M, Friedlander, AM, Wilson, SK, Brokovich, E, Brooks, AJ, Cruz-Motta, JJ, Booth, DJ, Chabanet, P, Gough, C, Tupper, M, Ferse, SCA, Sumaila, UR, Pardede, S & Mouillot, D 2018, 'Gravity of human impacts mediates coral reef conservation gains.', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 115, no. 27, pp. E6116-E6125.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Coral reefs provide ecosystem goods and services for millions of people in the tropics, but reef conditions are declining worldwide. Effective solutions to the crisis facing coral reefs depend in part on understanding the context under which different types of conservation benefits can be maximized. Our global analysis of nearly 1,800 tropical reefs reveals how the intensity of human impacts in the surrounding seascape, measured as a function of human population size and accessibility to reefs ("gravity"), diminishes the effectiveness of marine reserves at sustaining reef fish biomass and the presence of top predators, even where compliance with reserve rules is high. Critically, fish biomass in high-compliance marine reserves located where human impacts were intensive tended to be less than a quarter that of reserves where human impacts were low. Similarly, the probability of encountering top predators on reefs with high human impacts was close to zero, even in high-compliance marine reserves. However, we find that the relative difference between openly fished sites and reserves (what we refer to as conservation gains) are highest for fish biomass (excluding predators) where human impacts are moderate and for top predators where human impacts are low. Our results illustrate critical ecological trade-offs in meeting key conservation objectives: reserves placed where there are moderate-to-high human impacts can provide substantial conservation gains for fish biomass, yet they are unlikely to support key ecosystem functions like higher-order predation, which is more prevalent in reserve locations with low human impacts.
Maire, E, Villéger, S, Graham, NAJ, Hoey, AS, Cinner, J, Ferse, SCA, Aliaume, C, Booth, DJ, Feary, DA, Kulbicki, M, Sandin, SA, Vigliola, L & Mouillot, D 2018, 'Community-wide scan identifies fish species associated with coral reef services across the Indo-Pacific.', Proceedings. Biological sciences, vol. 285, no. 1883.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Determining whether many functionally complementary species or only a subset of key species are necessary to maintain ecosystem functioning and services is a critical question in community ecology and biodiversity conservation. Identifying such key species remains challenging, especially in the tropics where many species co-occur and can potentially support the same or different processes. Here, we developed a new community-wide scan (CWS) approach, analogous to the genome-wide scan, to identify fish species that significantly contribute, beyond the socio-environmental and species richness effects, to the biomass and coral cover on Indo-Pacific reefs. We found that only a limited set of species (51 out of approx. 400, approx. 13%), belonging to various functional groups and evolutionary lineages, are strongly and positively associated with fish biomass and live coral cover. Many of these species have not previously been identified as functionally important, and thus may be involved in unknown, yet important, biological mechanisms that help sustain healthy and productive coral reefs. CWS has the potential to reveal species that are key to ecosystem functioning and services and to guide management strategies as well as new experiments to decipher underlying causal ecological processes.
Matis, PA, Donelson, JM, Bush, S, Fox, RJ & Booth, DJ 2018, 'Temperature influences habitat preference of coral reef fishes: Will generalists become more specialised in a warming ocean?', Global change biology, vol. 24, no. 7, pp. 3158-3169.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Climate change is expected to pose a significant risk to species that exhibit strong behavioural preferences for specific habitat types, with generalist species assumed to be less vulnerable. In this study, we conducted habitat choice experiments to determine how water temperature influences habitat preference for three common species of coral reef damselfish (Pomacentridae) that differ in their levels of habitat specialisation. The lemon damselfish Pomacentrus moluccensis, a habitat specialist, consistently selected complex coral habitat across all temperature treatments (selected based on local average seasonal temperatures naturally experienced in situ: ambient winter 22°C; ambient summer 28°C; and elevated 31°C). Unexpectedly, the neon damselfish Pomacentrus coelestis and scissortail sergeant Abudefduf sexfasciatus, both of which have more generalist habitat associations, developed strong habitat preferences (for complex coral and boulder habitat, respectively) at the elevated temperature treatment (31°C) compared to no single preferred habitat at 22°C or 28°C. The observed shifts in habitat preference with temperature suggest that we may be currently underestimating the vulnerability of some habitat generalists to climate change and highlight that the ongoing loss of complex live coral through coral bleaching could further exacerbate resource overlap and species competition in ways not currently considered in climate change models.
Smith, SM, Fox, RJ, Booth, DJ & Donelson, JM 2018, ''Stick with your own kind, or hang with the locals?' Implications of shoaling strategy for tropical reef fish on a range-expansion frontline.', Global change biology, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 1663-1672.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Range shifts of tropical marine species to temperate latitudes are predicted to increase as a consequence of climate change. To date, the research focus on climate-mediated range shifts has been predominately dealt with the physiological capacity of tropical species to cope with the thermal challenges imposed by temperate latitudes. Behavioural traits of individuals in the novel temperate environment have not previously been investigated, however, they are also likely to play a key role in determining the establishment success of individual species at the range-expansion forefront. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of shoaling strategy on the performance of juvenile tropical reef fishes that recruit annually to temperate waters off the south east coast of Australia. Specifically, we compared body-size distributions and the seasonal decline in abundance through time of juvenile tropical fishes that shoaled with native temperate species ('mixed' shoals) to those that shoaled only with conspecifics (as would be the case in their tropical range). We found that shoaling with temperate native species benefitted juvenile tropical reef fishes, with individuals in 'mixed' shoals attaining larger body-sizes over the season than those in 'tropical-only' shoals. This benefit in terms of population body-size distributions was accompanied by greater social cohesion of 'mixed' shoals across the season. Our results highlight the impact that sociality and behavioural plasticity are likely to play in determining the impact on native fish communities of climate-induced range expansion of coral reef fishes.
Gates, AR, Benfield, MC, Booth, DJ, Fowler, AM, Skropeta, D & Jones, DOB 2017, 'Deep-sea observations at hydrocarbon drilling locations: Contributions from the SERPENT Project after 120 field visits', Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, vol. 137, pp. 463-479.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2016 The SERPENT Project has been running for over ten years. In this time scientists from universities and research institutions have made more than 120 visits to oil rigs, drill ships and survey vessels operated by 16 oil companies, in order to work with the industry's Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV). Visits have taken place in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Australasia at water depths from 100 m to nearly 3000 m. The project has directly produced > 40 peer reviewed publications and data from the project's > 2600 entry online image and video archive have been used in many others. The aim of this paper is to highlight examples of how valuable data can be obtained through collaboration with hydrocarbon exploration and production companies to use existing industry infrastructure to increase scientific discovery in unexplored areas and augment environmental monitoring of industrial activity. The large number of industry ROVs operating globally increases chance encounters with large, enigmatic marine organisms. SERPENT video observations include the deepest known records of species previously considered epipelagic such as scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) and southern sunfish (Mola ramsayi) and the first in situ observations of pelagic species such as oarfish (Regalecus glesne). Such observations enable improvements to distribution records and description of behaviour of poorly understood species. Specimen collection has been used for taxonomic descriptions, functional studies and natural products chemistry research. Anthropogenic effects been assessed at the local scale using in situ observations and sample collection at the time of drilling operations and subsequent visits have enabled study of recovery from drilling. Future challenges to be addressed using the SERPENT approach include ensuring unique faunal observations by industry ROV operators are reported, further study of recovery from deep-water drilling activity and to carry out in sit...
Ward, T, Booth, DJ, Fairweather, PG, Ford, JR, Jenkins, GI, Keough, MJ, Prince, JD & Smyth, C 2017, 'Australia's coastal fisheries and farmed seafood: an ecological basis for determining sustainability', Australian Zoologist, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 3-16.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In response to consumer concerns about the sustainability of Australian-sourced seafood we derive a set of criteria within an explicit decision-process that can be used to determine whether locally farmed and wild-caught Australian seafood products meet standards of ecological sustainability and Ecologically Sustainable Development. These criteria substantially address the ecological deficiencies we identified in other systems commonly used for assessing seafood sustainability. The criteria address the issues that are relevant to local seafood production, and are populated with indicators (metrics) and benchmarks relevant to the Australian context. The indicators establish performance thresholds drawn from public domain data about the products, including observed empirical data and proxies, and include default decisions to be applied in the absence of adequate information. This decision structure is set within a peer-reviewed expert jury decision-making process. The criteria, decision process and decision outcomes from assessment of a number of pilot products were tested in a real seafood market (Melbourne), where we found a high level of producer, reseller and consumer acceptance of the judgements and ratings. The use of ecologically-derived standards results in several outcomes that differ from those of other seafood assessment systems, especially those assessments more focused on production standards, such as government, industry and NGO-supported programs, popularly used in Australia and worldwide. We conclude that despite high levels of uncertainty surrounding many of the population parameters, ecological patterns and processes, empirical cost-effective proxies can be used to reasonably estimate a form of sustainability that matches consumer interests/expectations for production of fresh local seafood. Despite the plethora of industry and government programs, there remains a significant but presently unmet consumer demand for ecologically-based, technically ...
Beck, HJ, Feary, DA, Nakamura, Y & Booth, DJ 2017, 'Temperate macroalgae impacts tropical fish recruitment at forefronts of range expansion', Coral Reefs, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 639-651.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2017, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Warming waters and changing ocean currents are increasing the supply of tropical fish larvae to temperature regions where they are exposed to novel habitats, namely temperate macroalgae and barren reefs. Here, we use underwater surveys on the temperate reefs of south-eastern (SE) Australia and western Japan (~33.5°N and S, respectively) to investigate how temperate macroalgal and non-macroalgal habitats influence recruitment success of a range of tropical fishes. We show that temperate macroalgae strongly affected recruitment of many tropical fish species in both regions and across three recruitment seasons in SE Australia. Densities and richness of recruiting tropical fishes, primarily planktivores and herbivores, were over seven times greater in non-macroalgal than macroalgal reef habitat. Species and trophic diversity (K-dominance) were also greater in non-macroalgal habitat. Temperate macroalgal cover was a stronger predictor of tropical fish assemblages than temperate fish assemblages, reef rugosities or wave exposure. Tropical fish richness, diversity and density were greater on barren reef than on reef dominated by turfing algae. One common species, the neon damselfish (Pomacentrus coelestis), chose non-macroalgal habitat over temperate macroalgae for settlement in an aquarium experiment. This study highlights that temperate macroalga e may partly account for spatial variation in recruitment success of many tropical fishes into higher latitudes. Hence, habitat composition of temperate reefs may need to be considered to accurately predict the geographic responses of many tropical fishes to climate change.
O'Connor, JJ, Booth, DJ, Swearer, SE, Fielder, DS & Leis, JM 2017, 'Ontogenetic milestones of chemotactic behaviour reflect innate species-specific response to habitat cues in larval fish', Animal Behaviour, vol. 132, pp. 61-71.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2017 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour The distribution and connectivity of marine populations are largely dependent on biophysical factors affecting pelagic larval dispersal between spawning at adult spawning sites and settlement to juvenile nursery habitats. Behaviour and swimming ability of pelagic larvae are increasingly understood to influence patterns of dispersal, but it is unclear which sensory cues are involved and when during ontogeny these abilities first develop. Here we studied the early ontogenetic development of responses to olfactory cues from coastal and estuarine waters in larvae of two temperate estuarine-associated fish species, Australian bass, Macquaria novemaculeata, and mulloway, Argyrosomus japonicus, to determine when olfaction begins to influence dispersal. Olfactory responses to habitat-associated cues were not present when larvae first transitioned from nonswimming to swimming (indicated by flexion of the notochord), but emerged after ca. 7 days in a species-specific manner that was consistent across different cohorts. Based on general additive models (GAMs), age (in days posthatch) best explained the ontogenetic pattern in both species. The emergence of chemotactic responses coincides with an exponential increase in swimming endurance reported for these species. This suggests the existence of ontogenetic milestones during larval development that, once reached, trigger active influence on dispersal. Salinity and pH did not influence choice behaviour after these ontogenetic milestones; however, the presence of cues generated by seagrass harvested from the estuary habitat elicited strong responses in fish larvae consistent with species-specific habitat preferences, indicating an important role for aquatic vegetation in driving these behaviours.
Beck, HJ, Feary, DA, Fowler, AM, Madin, EMP & Booth, DJ 2016, 'Temperate predators and seasonal water temperatures impact feeding of a range expanding tropical fish', MARINE BIOLOGY, vol. 163, no. 4.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Fowler, AM, Smith, SM, Booth, DJ & Stewart, J 2016, 'Partial migration of grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) on Australia's east coast revealed by otolith chemistry', MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, vol. 119, pp. 238-244.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Beck, HJ, Feary, DA, Nakamura, Y & Booth, DJ 2016, 'Wave-sheltered embayments are recruitment hotspots for tropical fishes on temperate reefs', MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES, vol. 546, pp. 197-212.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The ability of two common, site-attached coral-reef fishes to return to their home corals after displacement
was investigated in a series of field experiments at One Tree Island, southern Great Barrier Reef.
The humbug Dascyllus aruanus was displaced up to 250 m, with 42% of individuals returning home,
irrespective of body size, displacement, direction (up or across currents) and route complexity, while
for the lemon damselfish Pomacentrus moluccensis 35% of individuals returned overall, with 33%
from the greatest displacement, 100m along a reef edge. Given that the home range of both species
is <1m2, over their 10+ year life span, the mechanisms and motivations for such homing ability are
unclear but it may allow resilience if fishes are displaced by storm events, allowing rapid return to
Ongoing declines in the structure and function of the world’s coral reefs1, 2 require novel approaches to sustain these ecosystems and the millions of people who depend on them3. A presently unexplored approach that draws on theory and practice in human health and rural development4, 5 is to systematically identify and learn from the ‘outliers’—places where ecosystems are substantially better (‘bright spots’) or worse (‘dark spots’) than expected, given the environmental conditions and socioeconomic drivers they are exposed to. Here we compile data from more than 2,500 reefs worldwide and develop a Bayesian hierarchical model to generate expectations of how standing stocks of reef fish biomass are related to 18 socioeconomic drivers and environmental conditions. We identify 15 bright spots and 35 dark spots among our global survey of coral reefs, defined as sites that have biomass levels more than two standard deviations from expectations. Importantly, bright spots are not simply comprised of remote areas with low fishing pressure; they include localities where human populations and use of ecosystem resources is high, potentially providing insights into how communities have successfully confronted strong drivers of change. Conversely, dark spots are not necessarily the sites with the lowest absolute biomass and even include some remote, uninhabited locations often considered near pristine6. We surveyed local experts about social, institutional, and environmental conditions at these sites to reveal that bright spots are characterized by strong sociocultural institutions such as customary taboos and marine tenure, high levels of local engagement in management, high dependence on marine resources, and beneficial environmental conditions such as deep-water refuges. Alternatively, dark spots are characterized by intensive capture and storage technology and a recent history of environmental shocks. Our results suggest that investments in strengthening fisheries governa...
Cinner, JE, Huchery, C, MacNeil, MA, Graham, NAJ, McClanahan, TR, Maina, J, Maire, E, Kittinger, JN, Hicks, CC, Mora, C, Allison, EH, D'Agata, S, Hoey, A, Feary, DA, Crowder, L, Williams, ID, Kulbicki, M, Vigliola, L, Wantiez, L, Edgar, G, Stuart-Smith, RD, Sandin, SA, Green, AL, Hardt, MJ, Beger, M, Friedlander, A, Campbell, SJ, Holmes, KE, Wilson, SK, Brokovich, E, Brooks, AJ, Cruz-Motta, JJ, Booth, DJ, Chabanet, P, Gough, C, Tupper, M, Ferse, SCA, Sumaila, UR & Mouillot, D 2016, 'Bright spots among the world's coral reefs', NATURE, vol. 535, no. 7612, pp. 416-+.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Donelson, JM, Wong, M, Booth, DJ & Munday, PL 2016, 'Transgenerational plasticity of reproduction depends on rate of warming across generations', EVOLUTIONARY APPLICATIONS, vol. 9, no. 9, pp. 1072-1081.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
O'Connor, JJ, Lecchini, D, Beck, HJ, Cadiou, G, Lecellier, G, Booth, DJ & Nakamura, Y 2016, 'Sediment pollution impacts sensory ability and performance of settling coral-reef fish.', Oecologia, vol. 180, no. 1, pp. 11-21.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Marine organisms are under threat globally from a suite of anthropogenic sources, but the current emphasis on global climate change has deflected the focus from local impacts. While the effect of increased sedimentation on the settlement of coral species is well studied, little is known about the impact on larval fish. Here, the effect of a laterite "red soil" sediment pollutant on settlement behaviour and post-settlement performance of reef fish was tested. In aquarium tests that isolated sensory cues, we found significant olfaction-based avoidance behaviour and disruption of visual cue use in settlement-stage larval fish at 50 mg L(-1), a concentration regularly exceeded in situ during rain events. In situ light trap catches showed lower abundance and species richness in the presence of red soil, but were not significantly different due to high variance in the data. Prolonged exposure to red soil produced altered olfactory cue responses, whereby fish in red soil made a likely maladaptive choice for dead coral compared to controls where fish chose live coral. Other significant effects of prolonged exposure included decreased feeding rates and body condition. These effects on fish larvae reared over 5 days occurred in the presence of a minor drop in pH and may be due to the chemical influence of the sediment. Our results show that sediment pollution of coral reefs may have more complex effects on the ability of larval fish to successfully locate suitable habitat than previously thought, as well as impacting on their post-settlement performance and, ultimately, recruitment success.
Parkinson, KL & Booth, DJ 2016, 'Rapid growth and short life spans characterize pipefish populations in vulnerable seagrass beds', Journal of Fish Biology, vol. 88, no. 5, pp. 1847-1855.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles. The life-history traits of two species of pipefish (Syngnathidae) from seagrass meadows in New South Wales, Australia, were examined to understand whether they enhance resilience to habitat degradation. The spotted pipefish Stigmatopora argus and wide-bodied pipefish Stigmatopora nigra exhibit some of the shortest life spans known for vertebrates (longevity up to 150days) and rapid maturity (male S. argus 35days after hatching (DAH) and male S. nigra at 16-19 DAH), key characteristics of opportunistic species. Growth rates of both species were extremely rapid (up to 2mmday-1), with seasonal and sex differences in growth rate. It is argued that short life spans and high growth rates may be advantageous for these species, which inhabit one of the most threatened marine ecosystems on earth.
Poulos, DE, Gallen, C, Davis, T, Booth, DJ & Harasti, D 2016, 'Distribution and spatial modelling of a soft coral habitat in the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park: implications for management', MARINE AND FRESHWATER RESEARCH, vol. 67, no. 2, pp. 256-265.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Smith, SM, Fox, RJ, Donelson, JM, Head, ML & Booth, DJ 2016, 'Predicting range-shift success potential for tropical marine fishes using external morphology', BIOLOGY LETTERS, vol. 12, no. 9.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Fowler, AM, Macreadie, PI & Booth, DJ 2015, 'Renewables-to-reefs: Participatory multicriteria decision analysis is required to optimize wind farm decommissioning', MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN, vol. 98, no. 1-2, pp. 368-371.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Fowler, AM, Macreadie, PI & Booth, DJ 2015, 'Should we "reef" obsolete oil platforms?', PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, vol. 112, no. 2, pp. E102-E102.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Booth, DJ, Gribben, P & Parkinson, K 2015, 'Impact of cigarette butt leachate on tidepool snails', MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN, vol. 95, no. 1, pp. 362-364.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Johnston, EL, Mayer-Pinto, M, Hutchings, PA, Marzinelli, EM, Ahyong, ST, Birch, G, Booth, DJ, Creese, RG, Doblin, MA, Figueira, W, Gribben, PE, Pritchard, T, Roughan, M, Steinberg, PD & Hedge, LH 2015, 'Sydney Harbour: what we do and do not know about a highly diverse estuary', MARINE AND FRESHWATER RESEARCH, vol. 66, no. 12, pp. 1073-1087.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Lajus, D, Yurtseva, A, Birch, G & Booth, DJ 2015, 'Fluctuating asymmetry as a pollution monitor: The Australian estuarine smooth toadfish Tetractenos glaber (Teleostei: Tetraodontidae)', MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN, vol. 101, no. 2, pp. 758-767.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Liggins, L, Booth, DJ, Figueira, WF, Treml, EA, Tonk, L, Ridgway, T, Harris, DA & Riginos, C 2015, 'Latitude-wide genetic patterns reveal historical effects and contrasting patterns of turnover and nestedness at the range peripheries of a tropical marine fish', ECOGRAPHY, vol. 38, no. 12, pp. 1212-1224.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Mayer-Pinto, M, Johnston, EL, Hutchings, PA, Marzinelli, EM, Ahyong, ST, Birch, G, Booth, DJ, Creese, RG, Doblin, MA, Figueira, W, Gribben, PE, Pritchard, T, Roughan, M, Steinberg, PD & Hedge, LH 2015, 'Sydney Harbour: a review of anthropogenic impacts on the biodiversity and ecosystem function of one of the world's largest natural harbours', MARINE AND FRESHWATER RESEARCH, vol. 66, no. 12, pp. 1088-1105.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Ollivier, QR, Bramwell, NA, Hammill, E, Foster-Thorpe, C & Booth, DJ 2015, 'Are the effects of adjacent habitat type on seagrass gastropod communities being masked by previous focus on habitat dyads?', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, vol. 63, no. 5, pp. 357-363.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Thomson, AC, York, PH, Smith, TM, Sherman, CD, Booth, DJ, Keough, MJ, Ross, DJ & Macreadie, PI 2015, 'Seagrass Viviparous Propagules as a Potential Long-Distance Dispersal Mechanism', Estuaries and Coasts, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 927-940.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Resilience of seagrass meadows relies on the ability of seagrass to successfully recolonise denuded areas or disperse to new areas. While seed germination and rhizome extension have been explored as modes of recovery and expansion, the contribution of seagrass viviparous propagules to meadow population dynamics has received little attention. Here, we investigated the potential of seagrass viviparous propagules to act as dispersal vectors. We performed a series of density surveys, and in situ and mesocosm-based experiments in Port Phillip Bay, VIC, Australia, using Zostera nigricaulis, a species known to produce viviparous propagules. Production of viviparous propagules was higher at sites with high wind and current exposure, compared to more sheltered environments. A number of propagules remained buoyant and healthy for more than 85 days, suggesting the capacity for relatively long-distance dispersal. Transplanted propagules were found to have improved survivorship within seagrass habitats compared to bare sediment over the short term (4 weeks); however, all propagules suffered longer-term (<100 days) mortality in field experiments. Conditions outside of meadows, including sediment scouring, reduced the likelihood of successful colonisation in bare sediment. Furthermore, sediment characteristics within meadows, such as a smaller grain size and high organic content, positively influenced propagule establishment. This research provides preliminary evidence that propagules have the potential to act as an important long-distance dispersal vector, a process that has previously gone unrecognised. Even though successful establishment of propagules may be rare, viviparous propagules show great potential for seagrass populations given they are facing global decline.
Thomson, ACG, York, PH, Smith, TM, Sherman, CDH, Booth, DJ, Keough, MJ, Ross, DJ & Macreadie, PI 2015, 'Response to "Comment on 'Seagrass Viviparous Propagules as a Potential Long-Distance Dispersal Mechanism' by A. C. G. Thomson et al"', ESTUARIES AND COASTS, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 875-876.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Fowler, AM, Macreadie, PI, Bishop, DP & Booth, DJ 2015, 'Using otolith microchemistry and shape to assess the habitat value of oil structures for reef fish', MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, vol. 106, pp. 103-113.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Feary, DA, Pratchett, MS, Emslie, MJ, Fowler, A, Figueira, WF, Luiz, OJ, Nakamura, Y & Booth, DJ 2014, 'Latitudinal shifts in coral reef fishes: why some species do and others do not shift', Fish and Fisheries, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 593-615.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Climate change is resulting in rapid poleward shifts in the geographical distribution of many tropical fish species, but it is equally apparent that some fishes are failing to exhibit expected shifts in their geographical distribution. There is still little understanding of the species-specific traits that may constrain or promote successful establishment of populations in temperate regions. We review the factors likely to affect population establishment, including larval supply, settlement and post-settlement processes. In addition, we conduct meta-analyses on existing and new data to examine relationships between species-specific traits and vagrancy. We show that tropical vagrant species are more likely to originate from high-latitude populations, while at the demographic level, tropical fish species with large body size, high swimming ability, large size at settlement and pelagic spawning behaviour are more likely to show successful settlement into temperate habitats. We also show that both habitat and food limitation at settlement and within juvenile stages may constrain tropical vagrant communities to those species with medium to low reliance on coral resources.
Fowler, A, Macreadie, PI, Jones, D & Booth, DJ 2014, 'A multi-criteria decision approach to decommissioning of offshore oil and gas infrastructure', Ocean & Coastal Management, vol. 87, pp. 20-29.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Thousands of the worlds offshore oil and gas structures are approaching obsolescence and will require decommissioning within the next decade. Many nations have blanket regulations requiring obsolete structures to be removed, yet this option is unlikely to yield optimal environmental, societal and economic outcomes in all situations. We propose that nations adopt a flexible approach that allows decommissioning options to be selected from the full range of alternatives (including `rigs-to-reefs options) on a case-by-case basis. We outline a method of multi-criteria decision analysis (Multi-criteria Approval, MA) for evaluating and comparing alternative decommissioning options across key selection criteria, including environmental, financial, socioeconomic, and health and safety considerations. The MA approach structures the decision problem, forces explicit consideration of trade-offs and directly involves stakeholder groups in the decision process. We identify major decommissioning options and provide a generic list of selection criteria for inclusion in the MA decision process. To deal with knowledge gaps concerning environmental impacts of decommissioning, we suggest that expert opinion feed into the MA approach until sufficient data become available. We conducted a limited trial of the MA decision approach to demonstrate its application to a complex and controversial decommissioning scenario; Platform Grace in southern California. The approach indicated, for this example, that the option `leave in place intact would likely provide best environmental outcomes in the event of future decommissioning. In summary, the MA approach will allow the environmental, social, and economic impacts of decommissioning decisions to be assessed simultaneously in a transparent manner.
Pradella, N, Fowler, A, Booth, DJ & Macreadie, PI 2014, 'Fish assemblages associated with oil industry structures on the continental shelf of north-western Australia', Journal of Fish Biology, vol. 84, no. 1, pp. 247-255.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Beck, HJ, Feary, DA, Figueira, WF & Booth, DJ 2014, 'Assessing range shifts of tropical reef fishes: a comparison of belt transect and roaming underwater visual census methods', BULLETIN OF MARINE SCIENCE, vol. 90, no. 2, pp. 705-721.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Otolith increment structure is widely used to estimate age and growth of marine fishes. Here, I test the accuracy of the long-term otolith increment analysis of the lemon damselfish Pomacentrus moluccensis to describe age and growth characteristics. I compare the number of putative annual otolith increments (as a proxy for actual age) and widths of these increments (as proxies for somatic growth) with actual tagged fish-length data, based on a 6-year dataset, the longest time course for a coral reef fish. Estimated age from otoliths corresponded closely with actual age in all cases, confirming annual increment formation. However, otolith increment widths were poor proxies for actual growth in length [linear regression r 2 = 0.440.90, n = 6 fish] and were clearly of limited value in estimating annual growth. Up to 60 % of the annual growth variation was missed using otolith increments, suggesting the long-term back calculations of otolith growth characteristics of reef fish populations should be interpreted with caution.
Booth, DJ, Poulos, DE, Poole, J & Feary, DA 2014, 'Growth and temperature relationships for juvenile fish species in seagrass beds: implications of climate change', Journal Of Fish Biology, vol. 84, no. 1, pp. 231-236.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The effect of water temperature on growth responses of three common seagrass fish species that co-occur as juveniles in the estuaries in Sydney (34° S) but have differing latitudinal ranges was measured: Pelates sexlineatus (subtropical to warm temperate: 2735° S), Centropogon australis (primarily subtropical to warm temperate: 2437° S) and Acanthaluteres spilomelanurus (warm to cool temperate: below 32° S). Replicate individuals of each species were acclimated over a 7?day period in one of three temperature treatments (control: 22°?C, low: 18°?C and high: 26°?C) and their somatic growth was assessed within treatments over 10?days. Growth of all three species was affected by water temperature, with the highest growth of both northern species (P. sexlineatus and C. australis) at 22 and 26°?C, whereas growth of the southern ranging species (A. spilomelanurus) was reduced at temperatures higher than 18°?C, suggesting that predicted increase in estuarine water temperatures through climate change may change relative performance of seagrass fish assemblages.
Donelson, J, Mccormick, MI, Booth, DJ & Munday, PL 2014, 'Reproductive Acclimation to Increased Water Temperature in a Tropical Reef Fish', PLoS One, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 1-9.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Understanding the capacity of organisms to cope with projected global warming through acclimation and adaptation is critical to predicting their likely future persistence. While recent research has shown that developmental acclimation of metabolic attributes to ocean warming is possible, our understanding of the plasticity of key fitness-associated traits, such as reproductive performance, is lacking. We show that while the reproductive ability of a tropical reef fish is highly sensitive to increases in water temperature, reproductive capacity at +1.5°C above present-day was improved to match fish maintained at present-day temperatures when fish complete their development at the higher temperature. However, reproductive acclimation was not observed in fish reared at +3.0°C warmer than present-day, suggesting limitations to the acclimation possible within one generation. Surprisingly, the improvements seen in reproduction were not predicted by the oxygen- and capacity-limited thermal tolerance hypothesis. Specifically, pairs reared at +1.5°C, which showed the greatest capacity for reproductive acclimation, exhibited no acclimation of metabolic attributes. Conversely, pairs reared at +3.0°C, which exhibited acclimation in resting metabolic rate, demonstrated little capacity for reproductive acclimation. Our study suggests that understanding the acclimation capacity of reproductive performance will be critically important to predicting the impacts of climate change on biological systems.
Verges, A, Steinberg, PD, Hay, ME, Poore, AGB, Campbell, AH, Ballesteros, E, Heck, KL, Booth, DJ, Coleman, MA, Feary, DA, Figueira, W, Langlois, T, Marzinelli, EM, Mizerek, T, Mumby, PJ, Nakamura, Y, Roughan, M, van Sebille, E, Sen Gupta, A, Smale, DA, Tomas, F, Wernberg, T & Wilson, SK 2014, 'The tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems: climate-mediated changes in herbivory and community phase shifts', PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, vol. 281, no. 1789.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
McGowan, N, Fowler, A, Parkinson, K, Bishop, D, Ganio, K, Doble, PA, Booth, DJ & Hare, DJ 2014, 'Beyond the transect: An alternative microchemical imaging method for fine scale analysis of trace elements in fish otoliths during early life', The Science of the Total Environment, vol. 494-495, pp. 177-186.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Microchemical analysis of otolith (calcified `ear stones used for balance and orientation) of fishes is an important tool for studying their environmental history and management. However, the spatial resolution achieved is often too coarse to examine short-termevents occurring in early life. Current methods rely on single points or transects across the otolith surface, which may provide a limited viewof elemental distributions, a matter that has not previously been investigated. Imaging by laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) permits microchemical analyses of short-term events in early life with high (b10 ìm) resolution, twodimensional (2D) visualization of elemental distributions. To demonstrate the potential of this method, we mapped the concentrations of Sr and Ba, two key trace elements, in a small number of juvenile otoliths of neon damselfish (Pomacentrus coelestis) using an 8 ìm beam diameter (laser fluence of 13.8 ± 3.5 J cm.2). Quantification was performed using the established method by Longerich et al. (1996), which is applied to 2D imaging of a biological matrix here for the first time. Accuracy of N97% was achieved using a multi-point non matrix-matched calibration of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 610 and 612 (trace elements in glass) using Longerich's calculation method against the matrix-matched standard FEBS-1 (powdered red snapper [Lutjanus campechanus] otolith). The spatial resolution achieved in the otolith corresponded to a time period of 2 ± 1 days during the larval phase, and 4 ± 1 days during the post-settlement juvenile phase. This method has the potential to improve interpretations of early life-history events at scales corresponding to specific events. While the images showed gradients in Sr and Ba across the larval settlement zone more clearly.
Fowler, AM & Booth, DJ 2013, 'Seasonal dynamics of fish assemblages on breakwaters and natural rocky reefs in a temperate estuary: consistent assemblage differences driven by sub-adults.', PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no. 9, pp. 1-12.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Development of infrastructure around cities is rapidly increasing the amount of artificial substrate (termed artificial reef, 'AR') in coastal marine habitats. However, effects of ARs on marine communities remain unknown, because it is unclear whether ARs can maintain similar communities to natural reefs. We investigated whether well-established (> 30 years old) breakwaters could consistently approximate fish assemblages on interspersed rocky reefs in a temperate estuary over 6 consecutive seasons using regular visual surveys between June 2009 (winter) and November 2010 (spring). We examined whether assemblage differences between reef types were driven by differences in juvenile recruitment, or were related to differences in older life-stages. Assemblages on both reef types were dominated by juveniles (61% of individuals) and sub-adults (34% of individuals). Seasonal fluctuations in assemblage parameters (species richness, diversity, sub-adult abundance) were similar between reef types, and levels of species diversity and assemblage composition were generally comparable. However, abundance and species richness were consistently higher (1.9-7.6 and 1.3-2.6 times, respectively) on breakwaters. These assemblage differences could not be explained by differences in juvenile recruitment, with seasonal patterns of recruitment and juvenile species found to be similar between reef types. In contrast, abundances of sub-adults were consistently higher (1.1-12 times) at breakwaters, and assemblage differences appeared to be driven by this life-stage. Our results indicate that breakwaters in temperate estuaries are capable of supporting abundant and diverse fish assemblages with similar recruitment process to natural reefs. However, breakwaters may not approximate all aspects of natural assemblage structure, with differences maintained by a single-life stage in some cases.
Kelaher, BP, Van Den Broek, J, York, PH, Bishop, M & Booth, DJ 2013, 'Positive responses of a seagrass ecosystem to experimental nutrient enrichment', Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 487, no. 1, pp. 15-25.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Nutrient enrichment of coastal waters is widely recognized as a major driver of seagrass decline. Under conditions where seagrasses are nutrient-limited, however, moderately elevated nutrient loads can enhance seagrass biomass and increase above- and below-ground consumers that support higher order predators. To improve understanding of bottom-up processes in seagrass ecosystems, we conducted a manipulative field experiment to simultaneously evaluate the responses of primary producers (seagrass and epiphytes) and the epiphyte- and the sediment-based components of seagrass food webs to moderate and high levels of waterborne nutrients. Fifteen 7 m2 sites in Zostera muelleri meadows were assigned randomly to control, moderate or high nutrient treatments and were enriched with 0, 1800 g and 3600 g respectively of slow-release fertilizer in above-ground dispensers. The experiment ran for 9 mo (August 2006 to April 2007) and the fertilizer was replaced every 2 mo to ensure continuous enrichment. The biomass of primary producers (seagrasses Z. muelleri, Halophila ovalis and associated epiphytes) and the abundance of predators in the epiphyte- and the sediment-based components of the food web were greater in nutrient-enriched treatments than in controls. Epiphyte grazers, deposit feeders/detritivores, suspension feeders and benthic grazers did not respond significantly to the nutrient enrichment. In general, responses to nutrient enrichment were similar for medium and high nutrient treatments except that the biomass and surface area of seagrass was greater in high enrichment sites. These results demonstrate that Z. muelleri-dominated seagrass meadows in oligotrophic systems may be resilient to greater nutrient loads. Effective conservation strategies for Z. muelleri meadows should continue to consider interactions among nutrient enrichment and other key anthropogenic stressors, particularly non-nutrient pollutants in runoff and sewage discharge.
Poulos, DE, Harasti, DI, Gallen, C & Booth, DJ 2013, 'Biodiversity value of a geographically restricted soft coral species within a temperate estuary', Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, vol. 23, no. 6, pp. 838-849.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
1. A threatened and uncommon soft coral species, Dendronephthya australis found in large abundance in Port Stephens, within the Port StephensGreat Lakes Marine Park (PSGLMP), New South Wales, Australia, was hypothesized to be an important habitat for many marine fishes and invertebrates, but is currently under threat from boat anchors, fishing debris entanglement and sand inundation. 2. Surveys were undertaken to assess the biodiversity associated with the soft coral habitat and its adjacent habitats (sponge, seagrass and unvegetated sand), using a combination of Underwater Visual Census (UVC) and Baited Remote Underwater Video System (BRUVS) techniques. 3. In total, 77 fish species and 21 invertebrate species utilized the D. australis habitat, and multivariate fish assemblages associated with soft corals were significantly different to those associated with nearby sponges, seagrass and sand habitats. Species richness of fishes and invertebrates were significantly higher in soft coral and sponge habitats than seagrass. 4. The D. australis habitat was found to be of high importance to juvenile snapper (Pagrus auratus: Sparidae), a species of recreational and commercial fishery importance, which occurred in highest abundance within D. australis, and were significantly smaller in size within the soft coral habitat than the adjacent sponge habitat. 5. Evidently, this rare soft coral habitat supports an extensive marine assemblage, potentially providing a valuable source of food and shelter for fishes and invertebrates, and given it is threatened by human-induced impacts, its protection should be a priority.
York, PH, Gruber, RK, Hill, R, Ralph, PJ, Booth, DJ & Macreadie, PI 2013, 'Physiological and Morphological Responses of the Temperate Seagrass Zostera muelleri to Multiple Stressors: Investigating the Interactive Effects of Light and Temperature', PLOS ONE, vol. 8, no. 10.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Fowler, A & Booth, DJ 2012, 'Evidence of sustained populations of a small reef fish on artificial structures. Does depth affect production on artificial reefs?', Journal Of Fish Biology, vol. 80, no. 3, pp. 613-629.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The length frequencies and age structures of resident Pseudanthias rubrizonatus (n = 407), a small protogynous serranid, were measured at four isolated artificial structures on the continental shelf of north-western Australia between June and August 2008
Fowler, A & Booth, DJ 2012, 'How well do sunken vessels approximate fish assemblages on coral reefs? Conservation implications of vessel-reef deployments', Marine Biology, vol. 159, pp. 2787-2796.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The amount of artificial habitat (termed `artificial reef, AR) in marine systems is rapidly increasing, yet the effect of most types of AR on reef communities remains unknown. We examined the role of well-established vessel-reefs in structuring coral reef fish assemblages by comparing assemblages on 7 World War II wrecks (>65 years old) to those on interspersed coral patch reefs of comparable size in a tropical lagoon. Fish abundance, species richness, diversity and feeding guild structure on wrecks were similar to natural reefs; however, species composition differed between the two reef types (R = 0.1890.341, average dissimilarity: 67.368.8 %). Despite being more species-rich and diverse, fish assemblages on larger wrecks were less similar to assemblages on their adjacent natural reefs than smaller wrecks. Wrecks may also have affected fish abundance on adjacent natural reefs, with reefs adjacent to larger wrecks supporting higher abundances than reefs adjacent to smaller wrecks. Our results indicate that increases in vessel-reef habitat may not greatly affect reef fish assemblage parameters, but may affect the relative abundances of particular species
Macreadie, PI, Fowler, A & Booth, DJ 2012, 'Rigs-to-reefs policy: Can science trump public sentiment?', Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, vol. 4, pp. 179-180.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Booth, DJ 2012, 'Science under siege-comment on Kearney article: Faith, vested interests and the scientific method: A critique of Kearney', Australian Zoologist, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 143-144.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Parkinson, K, Booth, DJ & Lee, J 2012, 'Validation of otolith daily increment formation for two temperate syngnathid fishes: the pipefishes Stigmatopora argus and Stigmatopora nigra', Journal Of Fish Biology, vol. 80, no. 3, pp. 698-704.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Otoliths were used for the first time to successfully validate the age of members of the family Syngnathidae: the spotted pipefish Stigmatopora argus and the wide-bodied pipefish Stigmatopora nigra. Otolith increments were deposited daily in (1) known-ag
York, PH, Kelaher, BP, Booth, DJ & Bishop, M 2012, 'Trophic Responses To Nutrient Enrichment In A Temperate Seagrass Food Chain', Marine Ecology-Progress Series, vol. 449, pp. 291-296.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Simple ecological models that predict trophic responses to bottom-up forcing are valuable tools for ecosystem managers. Traditionally, theoretical ecologists have used resource-dependent functional responses to explain the modification of food chains exp
Macreadie, PI, Fowler, A & Booth, DJ 2011, 'Rigs-to-reefs: will the deep sea benefit from artificial habitat?', Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, vol. 9, no. 8, pp. 455-461.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
As a peak in the global number of offshore oil rigs requiring decommissioning approaches, there is growing pressure for the implementation of a rigs-to-reefs program in the deep sea, whereby obsolete rigs are converted into artificial reefs. Such decommissioned rigs could enhance biological productivity, improve ecological connectivity, and facilitate conservation/restoration of deep-sea benthos (eg cold-water corals) by restricting access to fishing trawlers. Preliminary evidence indicates that decommissioned rigs in shallower waters can also help rebuild declining fish stocks. Conversely, potential negative impacts include physical damage to existing benthic habitats within the drop zone, undesired changes in marine food webs, facilitation of the spread of invasive species, and release of contaminants as rigs corrode. We discuss key areas for future research and suggest alternatives to offset or minimize negative impacts. Overall, a rigs-to-reefs program may be a valid option for deep-sea benthic conservation.
Booth, DJ & Parkinson, K 2011, 'Pelagic larval duration is similar across 23 degrees of lattitude for two species of butterflyfish (Chaetodontidae) in eastern Australia', Coral Reefs, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 1071-1075.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Duration of the pelagic phase of benthic marine fishes has been related to dispersal distance, with longer pelagic larval duration (PLD) expected to result in greater dispersal potential. Here, we examine PLDs of 2 species of coral-reef butterflyfish (Chaetodon auriga and C. flavirostris) across latitudes (14°S37°S) along the Great Barrier Reef into south-eastern Australia; we predict that PLD will be higher for fish collected below the breeding latitudes of 24°S. For C. auriga, apart from significantly longer PLDs at Lord Howe Island and Jervis Bay (means of 54 and 52 days, respectively), all locations had similar PLDs (mean 41 days). For C. flavirostris, there was no significant location effect on PLD (mean 41.5 days); however, PLD at Lord Howe Island was 58 days with high variance precluding significance. Also, there was no significant variation in PLD among years for either species despite considerable variation in East Australian Current strength.
Booth, DJ, Bond, N & Macreadie, PI 2011, 'Detecting range shifts among Australian fishes in response to climate change', Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 62, no. 9, pp. 1027-1042.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
One of the most obvious and expected impacts of climate change is a shift in the distributional range of organisms, which could have considerable ecological and economic consequences. Australian waters are hotspots for climate-induced environmental changes; here, we review these potential changes and their apparent and potential implications for freshwater, estuarine and marine fish. Our meta-analysis detected <300 papers globally on 'fish' and 'range shifts', with similar to 7% being from Australia. Of the Australian papers, only one study exhibited definitive evidence of climate-induced range shifts, with most studies focussing instead on future predictions. There was little consensus in the literature regarding the definition of 'range', largely because of populations having distributions that fluctuate regularly. For example, many marine populations have broad dispersal of offspring (causing vagrancy). Similarly, in freshwater and estuarine systems, regular environmental changes (e. g. seasonal, ENSO cycles - not related to climate change) cause expansion and contraction of populations, which confounds efforts to detect range 'shifts'. We found that increases in water temperature, reduced freshwater flows and changes in ocean currents are likely to be the key drivers of climate-induced range shifts in Australian fishes. Although large-scale frequent and rigorous direct surveys of fishes across their entire distributional ranges, especially at range edges, will be essential to detect range shifts of fishes in response to climate change, we suggest careful co-opting of fisheries, museum and other regional databases as a potential, but imperfect alternative.
Cummings, D, Lee, R, Simpson, S, Booth, DJ, Pile, A & Holmes, S 2011, 'Resource Partitioning Amongst Co-occurring Decapods On Wellheads From Australia's North-West Shelf. An Analysis Of Carbon And Nitrogen Stable Isotopes', Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, vol. 409, no. 40940, pp. 186-193.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
On the North West shelf of Australia, assemblages of co-occurring decapods formed the dominant taxa that had colonised a series of petroleum wellheads. Stable isotope analysis was utilised to infer how eleven co-occurring decapods species partition troph
Macreadie, PI, Bishop, M & Booth, DJ 2011, 'Implications of climate change for macrophytic rafts and their hitchhikers', Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 443, pp. 285-292.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Most models predicting changes to species distributions under future climate scenarios ignore dispersal processes, despite their importance in determining community structure in both terrestrial and aquatic systems ('supply-side ecology'). In the marine environment, facilitation of long-distance dispersal of coastal organisms by macrophytic rafts may be severely modified by climate impacts on raft supply, quality, and persistence, and on transport processes. Increasing storminess in the coastal zone, higher water temperatures, and changes in water circulation represent some of the key mechanisms that will directly affect rafts, while increases in herbivore metabolism due to higher water temperatures are likely to indirectly reduce raft longevity through raft consumption. Accurate predictions of climate impacts on coastal biodiversity will be contingent on resolution of factors influencing rafting so that this and other dispersal mechanisms can be incorporated into species distribution models.
By linking ecological theory with freely-available Google Earth satellite imagery, landscape-scale footprints of behavioural interactions between predators and prey can be observed remotely. A Google Earth image survey of the lagoon habitat at Heron Island within Australia's Great Barrier Reef revealed distinct halo patterns within algal beds surrounding patch reefs. Ground truth surveys confirmed that, as predicted, algal canopy height increases with distance from reef edges. A grazing assay subsequently demonstrated that herbivore grazing was responsible for this pattern. In conjunction with recent behavioural ecology studies, these findings demonstrate that herbivores' collective antipredator behavioural patterns can shape vegetation distributions on a scale clearly visible from space. By using sequential Google Earth images of specific locations over time, this technique could potentially allow rapid, inexpensive remote monitoring of cascading, indirect effects of predator removals (e.g., fishing; hunting) and/or recovery and reintroductions (e.g., marine or terrestrial reserves) nearly anywhere on earth.
Mora, C, Aburto-Oropeza, O, Bocos, AA, Ayotte, PM, Banks, S, Bauman, AG, Beger, M, Bessudo, S, Booth, DJ, Brokovich, E, Brooks, A, Chabanet, P, Cinner, JE, Cortes, J, Cruz-Motta, JJ, Magana, AC, DeMartini, EE, Edgar, GJ, Feary, DA, Ferse, SC, Friedlander, AM, Gaston, KJ, Gough, C, Graham, NA, Green, A, Guzman, H, Hardt, M, Kulbicki, M, Letourneur, Y, Perez, AL, Loreau, M, Loya, Y, Martinez, C, Mascarenas-Osorio, I, Morove, T, Nadon, M, Nakamura, Y, Paredes, G, Polunin, NV, Pratchett, MS, Bonilla, HR, Rivera, F, Sala, E, Sandin, SA, Soler, G, Smith, RS, Tessier, E, Tittensor, DP, Tupper, M, Usseglio, P, Vigliola, L, Wantiez, L, Williams, I, Wilson, SA & Zapata, FA 2011, 'Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes', Plos Biology, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 1-9.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass) scales in a nonsaturating manner with biodiversity (as measured by species and functional richness) in this ecosystem. Our field study also shows a significant and negative interaction between human population density and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning (i.e., for the same human density there were larger reductions in standing biomass at more diverse reefs). Human effects were found to be related to fishing, coastal development, and land use stressors, and currently affect over 75% of the worlds coral reefs. Our results indicate that the consequences of biodiversity loss in coral reefs have been considerably underestimated based on existing knowledge and that reef fish assemblages, particularly the most diverse, are greatly vulnerable to the expansion and intensity of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas.
Sanchez-Camara, J, Martin-smith, K, Booth, DJ, Fritschi, J & Turon, X 2011, 'Demographics And Vulnerability Of A Unique Australian Fish, The Weedy Seadragon Phyllopteryx Taeniolatus', Marine Ecology-Progress Series, vol. 422, pp. 253-264.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The weedy seadragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus is a vulnerable and endemic Australian fish and also an icon and flagship species for marine conservation. However, little is known about its population dynamics, which hinders the establishment of conservation policies. We have previously demonstrated seadragons to be highly site-attached, so we estimated population densities, growth and survival of weedy seadragons using mark-recapture techniques at 5 sites in New South Wales (NSW, 34 S) and Tasmania (TAS, 43 S), near the northern and southeastern limit of distribution for the species, over a 7 yr period. Population densities varied from ca. 10 to 70 seadragons ha.1 depending on site and year. There was a significant decline in the number of weedy seadragon sightings per unit area searched in 2 out of 3 study sites near Sydney, NSW, from 2001 to 2007. There was also a decline at one of the 2 sites surveyed in the lower Derwent Estuary, TAS, in 2009 compared to 2003 and 2004. Survival rates at NSW sites ranged from 0.62 to 0.65 yr.1 and were higher at TAS sites where they ranged from 0.71 to 0.77 yr.1. Birth occurred approximately 3 mo later and seadragons exhibited significant slower growth in TAS (maximum adult size ~ growth rate parameter, L ~ k = 31.02) compared to NSW (L ~ k = 55.15). This study is the first population assessment of seadragons over ecologically relevant spatial and temporal scales, and shows differences in the dynamics of populations at different latitudes. It also shows declines in some populations at widely separated sites. Determining whether these declines are natural interannual fluctuations or whether they are caused by environmental or habitat changes must be a priority for conservation.
Van Den Broek, J, Peach, MB & Booth, DJ 2011, 'The reproductive biology of the common stingaree Trygonoptera testacea (Urolophidae) in eastern Australia', Australian Zoologist, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 627-632.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The common stingaree, Trygonoptera testacea, is abundant on the continental shelf of eastern Australia but little is known of its ~cology and reproduction despite it being a common component of the demersal trawl fishery. Specimens of T testacea were collected from bycatch to investigate the species' reproductive biology. Males were found to mature at a disc width of 22 cm, while females reached sexual maturity at 26 cm disc width. Of all the I testacea examined, 53% of males (n= 159) and 16% of females (n=62) were se~ually mature. Only the left uterus and ovary were found to be functional in female I testacea. One gravid female carrying two near term embryos was sampled in February 2004. Many other females daught during the same trawl were observed aborting embryos providing a tentative estimate parturitiàn period, which appears to be between the months of February and April. Although further investigation is required to determine if I testacea populations are threatened by fishing pressures, the current study has provided key demographic parameters vital for the design of a management plan for I testacea and similar populations.
Cummings, D, Booth, DJ, Lee, RS, Simpson, S & Pile, AJ 2010, 'Ontogenetic Diet Shifts In The Reef Fish Pseudanthias Rubrizonatus From Isolated Populations On The North-West Shelf Of Australia', Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 419, pp. 211-222.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The red-barred anthias Pseudanthias rubrizonatus is a common tropical deep reef fish species found in Australia, but little is known about its dietary preferences and trophic interactions. We examined the gut contents and stable isotope signatures (?13C and ?15N) of P. rubrizonatus from populations on the North-West Shelf of Australia to determine differences in diet relative to site, depth and fish size. We sampled 5 fish populations from a series of sub-sea structures, from 82 to 152 m depth, which had been submerged for up to 15 yr. Gut content analysis suggested that P. rubrizonatus displays an opportunistic feeding strategy and utilises both pelagic and benthic resources, including larval fishes, heteropods, isopods and mysids. Stable isotope analyses revealed that at all depths P. rubrizonatus underwent an ontogenetic diet shift. Values for ?13C in muscle ranged from 19.7 for small fish to 16.2 for larger individuals, and ?15N ranged from 8.2 for smaller fish to 13.2 for larger fish, indicating that a diet shift occurs at the end of juvenile development between 30 and 50 mm standard length. By simultaneously analysing gut contents and stable isotope signatures of the collected specimens, we have documented opportunistic dietary strategies that may assist P. rubrizonatus to colonise isolated structures.
The extent and importance of consistent individual differences in behaviour, often referred to as 'personality' or 'temperament', is a relatively recent question in ecology.
Figueira, WF & Booth, DJ 2010, 'Increasing ocean temperatures allow tropical fishes to survive overwinter in temperate waters', Global Change Biology, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 506-516.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The southeast coast of Australia is a global hotspot for increasing ocean temperatures due to climate change. The temperate incursion of the East Australian Current (EAC) is increasing, affording increased connectivity with the Great Barrier Reef. The survival of tropically sourced juveniles over the winter is a significant stumbling block to poleward range shifts of marine organisms in this region. Here we examine the dependence of overwintering on winter severity and prewinter recruitment for eight species of juvenile coral reef fishes which are carried into temperate SE Australia (30â37 Â°S) by the EAC during the austral summer. The probability of persistence was most strongly influenced by average winter temperature and there was no effect of recruitment strength. Long-term (138 years) data indicate that winter water temperatures throughout this region are increasing at a rate above the global average and predictions indicate a further warming of >2 Â°C by the end of the century. Rising ocean temperatures are resulting in a higher frequency of winter temperatures above survival thresholds. Current warming trajectories predict 100% of winters will be survivable by at least five of the study species as far south as Sydney (34 Â°S) by 2080. The implications for range expansions of these and other species of coral reef fish are discussed.
Wilson, S, Adjeroud, M, Bellwood, D, Berumen, M, Booth, DJ, Bozec, Y, Chabanet, P, Cheal, A, Cinner, J, Depczynski, M, Feary, DA, Gagliano, M, Graham, N, Halford, A, Halpern, B, Harborne, A, Hoey, A, Holbrook, S, Jones, G, Kulbiki, M, Letoourneur, Y, de Loma, TL, McClanahan, T, Mccormick, MI, Meekan, M, Mumby, PJ, Munday, PL, Ohman, MC, Pratchett, M, Riegl, B, Sano, M, Schmitt, RJ & Syms, C 2010, 'Crucial knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes', Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 213, no. 6, pp. 894-900.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Expert opinion was canvassed to identify crucial knowledge gaps in current understanding of climate change impacts on coral reef fishes. Scientists that had published three or more papers on the effects of climate and environmental factors on reef fishes
Biro, P & Booth, DJ 2009, 'Extreme boldness precedes starvation mortality in six-lined trumpeter (Pelates sexlineatus)', Hydrobiologia, vol. 635, no. 1, pp. 395-398.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Fishes are often subjected to seasonal and spatial patchiness of food sources. We tested how risk-taking behaviour in the six-lined trumpeter, an estuarine seagrass resident fish, changed with hunger level in a laboratory experiment. When repeatedly offered a risky source of food, well-fed fish did not approach it and all fish survived over a one-month trial. In contrast, fish deprived of all food boldly first approached the risky food source after only a few days without food in some cases, or after many days in other cases, and then continued to approach risky food each time it was presented. Larger individuals were more bold (and had longer starvation endurance) than smaller ones, and after statistically controlling for these size effects, there were consistent individual differences in the propensity to take risks (i.e. boldness). These results show that food-and individual-dependent boldness will together affect vulnerability to predators and influence predation rates when resources become scarce.
Buckle, EC & Booth, DJ 2009, 'Ontogeny of space use and diet of two temperate damselfish species, Parma microlepis and Parma unifasciata', Marine Biology, vol. 156, no. 7, pp. 1497-1505.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Studies of reef fish herbivory have mainly focused on the impacts and behaviour of adults of tropical species. In this study, the ontogenetic shifts in home range, aggression, feeding rate, diet and gut morphology in juveniles and adults of two temperate territorial damselfishes, Parma microlepis and Parma unifasciata, were determined. Both P. microlepis and P. unifasciata juveniles under 80 mm TL exhibited no aggressive chases towards conspecifics or other species, while above 80 mm TL aggressive chase frequency increased in conjunction with an increase in home range, defended as a territory. Ontogenetic diet shifts, characterised by an increase in herbivory (P. unifasciata: juveniles: 64% plant material, adults: 95% plant material; P. microlepis: juveniles: 43% plant material, adults: 67% plant material) were observed for both species. The ratio of digestive tract length to body length, which often accompanies a switch to herbivory, increased significantly with ontogeny for both species. Compared to tropical confamilial grazers, these temperate damselfish species feeding rates were lower, and they had larger territories which were not as strongly defended (fewer aggressive chases).
Figueira, WF, Biro, P, Booth, DJ & Valenzuela Davie, VC 2009, 'Performance of tropical fish recruiting to temperate habitats: role of ambient temperature and implications of climate change', Marine Ecology-Progress Series, vol. 384, no. 0, pp. 231-239.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The warming of coastal oceans due to climate change is increasing the overwinter survival of tropical fishes transported to temperate latitudes by ocean currents. However, the processes governing early post-arrival mortality are complex and can result in minimum threshold temperatures for overwinter survival, which are greater than those predicted based upon physiological temperature tolerances alone. This 3.5 mo laboratory study monitored the early performance of a tropical damselfish Abudefduf vaigiensis that occurs commonly during austral summer along the SE Australian coast, under nominal summer and winter water temperatures, and compares results with a co-occurring year-round resident of the same family, Parma microlepis. Survivorship, feeding rate, growth and burst swimming ability (as a measure of predator escape ability) were all reduced for the tropical species at winter water temperatures compared to those in summer, whereas the temperate species experienced no mortality and only feeding rate was reduced at colder temperatures. These results suggest that observed minimum threshold survival temperatures may be greater than predicted by physiology alone, due to lowered food intake combined with increased predation risk (a longer time at vulnerable sizes and reduced escape ability). Overwinter survival is a significant hurdle in pole-ward range expansions of tropical fishes, and a better understanding of its complex processes will allow for more accurate predictions of changes in biodiversity as coastal ocean temperatures continue to increase due to climate change.
Figueira, WF, Booth, DJ & Gregson, MA 2008, 'Selective mortality of a coral reef damselfish: role of predator-competitor synergisms', Oecologia, vol. 156, no. 1, pp. 215-226.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Phenotypic variability within cohorts of juvenile organisms can serve as the basis for selective mortality. Previous studies have demonstrated the important role that predators play in this process but not the impact of competitors on selective predation
Wressnig, A & Booth, DJ 2008, 'Patterns of seagrass biomass removal by two temperate Australian fishes (Monacanthidae)', Marine And Freshwater Research, vol. 59, no. 5, pp. 408-417.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Despite the global significance of nearshore seagrass beds, little is known of their trophodynamic processes. Herbivory by seagrass fishes is thought to be significant but some species previously suspected to be herbivores may be largely detritivorous. P
Booth, DJ, Figueira, WF, Gregson, MA & Beretta, G 2007, 'Occurrence of tropical fishes in temperate southeastern Australia: role of the East Australian Current', Estuarine Coastal And Shelf Science, vol. 72, no. 1-2, pp. 102-114.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Dispersal of larval propagules is the major mechanism facilitating connectivity of marine populations. However, only a fraction of larvae settle in suitable habitat. For coral reef fishes, many larvae are advected away from coral reefs, often despite strong behavioural mechanisms (including swimming), and some may travel long distances away from the tropics. Here we document the occurrence of tropical reef fishes along the southeast coast of Australia between 2003 and 2005 and evaluate the role of the East Australian Current (EAC) in driving this pattern. In total we observed 47 species of tropical fishes from 11 families during the summer recruitment season (January to May) at locations spanning most of the length of the New South Wales coast (28° S37.5° S latitude, not, vert, similar1700 km from the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef). Southern locations tended to have reduced richness and density relative to northern ones. In general, the southward extent of distribution of the most commonly observed species was well explained by their planktonic larval durations. Recruitment events tended to be much more episodic in Merimbula (37° S) than Sydney (34° S), but there was little evidence for interannual similarity in the spatial patterns of recruitment of individual species with exception of the numerical dominance of Abudefduf vaigiensis and Abudefduf sexfasciatus (Pomacentridae) at the Sydney location and of Chaetodon auriga and Chaetodon flavirostris (Chaetodontidae) at the Merimbula location. Despite strong evidence for the role of the EAC in the transport of these species at a coastal scale, we found little evidence that individual recruitment events were correlated with local increases in water temperature that would be associated with EAC ingress.
Biro, P, Post, JR & Booth, DJ 2007, 'Mechanisms for climate-induced mortality of fish populations in whole-lake experiments', Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, vol. 104, no. 23, pp. 9715-9719.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The effects of climate change on plant and animal populations are widespread and documented for many species in many areas of the world. However, projections of climate impacts will require a better mechanistic understanding of ecological and behavioral responses to climate change and climate variation. For vertebrate animals, there is an absence of whole-system manipulative experiments that express natural variation in predator and prey behaviours. Here we investigate the effect of elevated water temperature on the physiology, behaviour, growth and survival of fish populations in a multiple whole-lake experiment by using 17 lake-years of data collected over 2 years with differing average temperatures. We found that elevated temperatures un excess of the optimum reduced the scope for growth through reduced maximum consumption and increased metabolosm in young rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Increased metabolism at high temperatures resulted in increased feeding activity (consumption) by individuals to compensate and maintain growth rates similar to thaty oberserved at cooler (optimum) temperatures. However, greater feeding activity rates resulted in greater vulnerability to predators that reduced survival to only half of the cooler year. Our work therefore, identifies temperature-dependent physiology and compensatory feeding behaviour as proximate mechanisms for substantial climate-induced mortality in fish pu=opulations at the scale of entire populations and wtaer bodies.
Two seagrass grazing fishes, Meuschenia freycineti and Meuschenia trachylepis (Monacanthidae), were offered three choices of Posidonia australis seagrass blades of different epiphyte coverage and leaf age to determine whether these fishes exhibit a preference for epiphyte covered seagrass blades. Both species removed significantly more biomass f the epiphyte-covred blades than of the two other blade types un multiple-choice tests. this clear preference for epiphyte-covered seagrass blades results in a preferred removal of older blades within the seagrass shoot of P. australis.
Alquezar, R, Markich, SJ & Booth, DJ 2006, 'Effects of metals on condition and reproductive output of the smooth toadfish in Sydney estuaries, south-eastern Australia', Environmental Pollution, vol. 142, no. 1, pp. 116-122.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This study determined the condition and reproductive output of a common estuarine toadfish, Tetractenos glaber, in two metal contaminated and two reference estuaries near Sydney, Australia. Female toadfish from metal contaminated estuaries were smaller a
Alquezar, R, Markich, SJ & Booth, DJ 2006, 'Metal accumulation in the smooth toadfish, Tetractenos glaber, in estuaries around Sydney, Australia', Environmental Pollution, vol. 142, no. 1, pp. 123-131.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This study determined the metal levels in sediments and tissues of a common estuarine fish, Tetractenos glaber (smooth toadfish), from two metal contaminated and two reference estuaries near Sydney, Australia. Metal levels were highest in sediments and f
Bishop, M, Kelaher, BP, Smith, M, York, PH & Booth, DJ 2006, 'Ratio-dependent response of a temperate Australian estuarine system to sustained nitrogen loading', Oecologia, vol. 149, no. 4, pp. 701-708.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Classical resource- and the less studied ratio-dependent models of predator-prey relationships provide divergent predictions as to the sustained ecological effects of bottom-up forcing. While resource-dependent models, which consider only instantaneous p
Booth, DJ & Skene, C 2006, 'Rapid assessment of endocrine disruption: vitellogenin (Vtg) expression in male estuarine toadfish (Tetratenos glaber Tetraodontiformes)', Australasian Journal of Ecotoxicology, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 3-8.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Increased contamination of waterways has lead to many impacts on organisms, including effects on reproduction. A suite of endocrine-disruptive chemicals (DECs) has been shown to mimic sex hormones in vertebrates and their presence is an important bioindicator of environmental degradation. We examined expression of vitellogenin (Vtg, a female yolk protein) in male toadfish (Tetratenos glaber), as an indicator of EDC presence in estuaries around Sydney, Australia. First we demonstrated induction of Vtg in males from unpolluted estuarine sites through injection of 17beta-oestradiol. Second, serum of fish from polluted and unpolluted estuaries was collected and examined by reducing-polyacryamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). While females from polluted (downstream from sewage treatment plants, and subject to urban runoff) and less polluted sites all expressed Vtg in blood serum, males from less polluted sites showed little or no evidence of Vtg expression. however, most males from heavilty polluted sites showed moderate to high levels of vtg expression indicating that EDCs were present and affecting normal endocrine function in males. We suggest that simple biochemical examinations of EDS effects, such as vtg induction in males, are useful rapid assessment methods wich can provide evidence upon which further, more detailed studies may be undertaken.
Sanchez-Camara, J, Booth, DJ, Murdoch, J, Watts, D & Turon, X 2006, 'Density, habitat use and behaviour of the weedy seadragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus (Teleostei Syngnathidae) around Sydney, New SouthWales, Australia', Marine And Freshwater Research, vol. 57, no. 7, pp. 737-745.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The vulnerability of marine fish species, particularly those inhabiting coastal waters, is an increasingly important issue in marine conservation. Although the weedy seadragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus (Lacepede, 1804), a syngnathid fish endemic to southe
Tucker, BJ, Booth, MA, Allan, GI, Booth, DJ & Fielder, DS 2006, 'Effects of photoperiod and feeding frequency on performance of newly weaned Australian snapper Pagrus auratus', Aquaculture, vol. 258, no. 1-4, pp. 514-520.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
An experiment was done to investigate the interactive effects of photoperiod (12L: 12D or 18L:6D) and feeding frequency on the growth of newly weaned Australian snapper (mean weight = 0.14 g fish(-1)). Feeding frequency was investigated over 4 levels wit
Walsh, CT, Pease, BC, Hoyle, S & Booth, DJ 2006, 'Variability in growth of longfinned eels among coastal catchments of south-eastern Australia', Journal Of Fish Biology, vol. 68, no. 6, pp. 1693-1706.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Longfinned eels Anguilla reinhardtii were captured by both fishery-dependent and independent sampling methods from three rivers in New South Wales. south-eastern Australia. Growth rates were examined in two zones (fresh water and tidal) in the Hacking. H
Walsh, CT, Pease, BC, Hoyle, SD & Booth, DJ 2006, 'Variability in growth of longfinned eels among coastal catchments of south-eastern Australia', JOURNAL OF FISH BIOLOGY, vol. 68, no. 6, pp. 1693-1706.View/Download from: Publisher's site
York, PH, Booth, DJ, Glasby, T & Pease, BC 2006, 'Fish assemblages in habitats dominated by Caulerpa taxifolia and native seagrasses in south-eastern Australia', Marine Ecology-Progress Series, vol. 312, pp. 223-234.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Seagrass beds in estuaries are important habitats and nursery grounds for a great variety of fishes, including many economically important species. The introduction of the invasive green alga Caulerpa taxifolia could potentially threaten the seagrasses o
Gregson, MA & Booth, DJ 2005, 'Zooplankton patchiness and the associated shoaling response of the temperate reef fish Trachinops taeniatus', Marine Ecology-Progress Series, vol. 299, pp. 269-275.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The grouping behaviour of fishes plays an important role in the success of the group and individual in terms of foraging, reproduction and predator avoidance. The temperate Sydney (Australia) reef fish species Trachinops taeniatus was investigated betwee
Sanchez-Camara, J, Booth, DJ & Turon, X 2005, 'Reproductive cycle and growth of Phyllopteryx taeniolatus', Journal Of Fish Biology, vol. 67, no. 1, pp. 133-148.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In this study, 36 males, 33 females and 15 juveniles of the common or weedy seadragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus, a syngnathid fish endemic to the waters of southern Australia, were identified using visual implant fluorescent elastomer tags and pattern of
Booth, DJ & Beretta, G 2004, 'Influence of recruit condition on food competition and predation risk in a coral reef fish', Oecologia, vol. 140, no. 2, pp. 289-294.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Settlement rate is considered to be a major determinant of the population structure of coral reef fishes. In this study, the effects of larval physiological condition on survival, predation risk and competitive ability are assessed for a small damselfish, Pomacentrus moluccensis. New settlers were collected and fed for 5 days to produce high and low condition (measured as lipid) treatment fish. In a field experiment, pairs (one high and one low condition fish) were transplanted to corals. Persistence over 2 weeks was much higher (100% vs. 25%) in high condition fish. In mixed groups in the laboratory, high condition fish were both aggressively dominant and consumed more of a limiting prey source than low condition fish. In addition, low condition fish were shown to be at much higher risk of predation. All of the low condition fish but only 33% of high condition fish in mixed groups were consumed by fish predators, and in a separate experiment, 73% of feeding strikes by predators were directed at low condition fish. Quality of new settlers can have an important influence on subsequent juvenile survival. The mechanisms for this effect are likely to include a combination of effects of condition on food competition and predation risk.
Booth, DJ 2004, 'Synergistic effects of conspecifics and food on growth and energy allocation of a damselfish', Ecology, vol. 85, no. 10, pp. 2881-2887.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Sanchez-Camara, J & Booth, DJ 2004, 'Movement, home range and site fidelity of the weedy seadragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus (Teleostei : Syngnathidae)', Environmental Biology Of Fishes, vol. 70, pp. 31-41.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Silberschneider, V, Pease, BC & Booth, DJ 2004, 'Estuarine habitat preferences of Anguilla Australis and A. reinhardtii glass eels as inferred from laboratory experiments', Environmental Biology of Fishes, vol. 71, pp. 395-402.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Walsh, CT, Pease, BC & Booth, DJ 2004, 'Variation in the sex ratio, size and age of longfinned eels within and among coastal catchments of southeastern Australia', Journal Of Fish Biology, vol. 64, pp. 1297-1312.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Longfinned eels Anguilla reinhardtii were captured by both fishery-dependent and independent sampling methods from three rivers in New South Wales, south-eastern Australia. Sex ratios, catch per unit effort and population age and total length structure were examined in three zones (fresh water and upper and lower tidal) in the Hacking, Hawkesbury and Clarence Rivers. Females were found in relatively high proportions in all zones, ranging from 97% in a freshwater (non-tidal) site down to 59% in a tidal site. Males were found primarily in tidal zones (only two of the 677 longfinned eels caught in non-tidal fresh water were males), with the greatest proportions being found in the brackish upper tidal areas. The mean number of fish captured per trap was higher in the fresh water and upper tidal zones than in the lower tidal zones. The mean ± s.e. age, 17·9 ± 0·3 years, and age range, 552 years for females were significantly higher than those of males 12·2 ± 0·4 years; range 522 years, which is typical of other anguillid species. Longfinned eels captured in fresh water were found be significantly larger and older than those in tidal zones due to the almost exclusive predominance of females
Walsh, CT, Pease, BC & Booth, DJ 2004, 'Variation in the sex ratio, size and age of longfinned eels within and among coastal catchments of southeastern Australia', JOURNAL OF FISH BIOLOGY, vol. 64, no. 5, pp. 1297-1312.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Brunton, BJ & Booth, DJ 2003, 'Density- and size-dependent mortality of a settling coral-reef damselfish (Pomacentrus moluccensis Bleeker)', Oecologia, vol. 137, no. 3, pp. 377-384.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Stauber, A & Booth, DJ 2003, 'Allometry in the Bearded Dragon Pogona barbata (Sauria:Agamidae) : Sex and Geographic differences', Australian Zoologist, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 238-245.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Upston, JM & Booth, DJ 2003, 'Settlement and density of juvenile fish assemblages in natural, Zostera capricorni (Zosteraceae) and artificial seagrass beds', Environmental Biology Of Fishes, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 91-97.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Walsh, CT, Pease, BC & Booth, DJ 2003, 'Sexual dimorphism and gonadal development of the Australian longfinned river eel', Journal Of Fish Biology, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 137-152.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Booth, D & Alquezar, R 2002, 'Food supplementation increases larval growth, condition and survival of Acanthochromis polyacanthus', JOURNAL OF FISH BIOLOGY, vol. 60, no. 5, pp. 1126-1133.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Booth, DJ & Alquezar, R 2002, 'Distribution changes after settlement in six species of damselfish (Pomacentridae) in One Tree Island lagoon, Great Barrier Reef', Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 226, no. N/A, pp. 157-164.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Booth, DJ & Alquezar, R 2002, 'Food supplemantation increases larval growth, condition and survival of Acanthochromis polyacanthus', Journal of Fish Biology, vol. 60, no. N/A, pp. 1126-1133.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Koop, K, Booth, DJ, Broadbent, A, Brodie, J, Bucher, D, Capone, D, Coll, J, Dennison, WC, Erdmann, MV, Harrison, P, Hoegh-Guldberg, O, Hutchings, P, Jones, G, Larkum, A, O'Neill, J, Steven, A, Tentori, E, Ward, S, Williamson, J & Yellowlees, D 2001, 'Encore: The Effect of Nutrient Enrichment on Coral Reefs. Synthesis of Results and conclusions', Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 42, pp. 91-120.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Macfarlane, GR & Booth, DJ 2001, 'Estuarine Macrobenthic Community Structure in the Hawkesbury River, Australia, Reltionships with Physicochemical and Anthropogenic Parameters', Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, vol. 72, pp. 51-78.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Silberschneider, V & Booth, DJ 2001, 'Resource Use by Enneapterygius rufopileus and other Rockpool Fishes', Environmental Biology of Fishes, vol. 61, pp. 195-204.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Silberschneider, V, Pease, BC & Booth, DJ 2001, 'A Novel Artificial Habitat Collection Device for Studying Resettlement Patterns in Anguillid Glass Eels', Journal of Fish Biology, vol. 58, no. 5, pp. 1359-1370.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Silberschneider, V, Pease, BC & Booth, DJ 2001, 'A novel artificial habitat collection device for studying resettlement patterns in anguillid glass eels', JOURNAL OF FISH BIOLOGY, vol. 58, no. 5, pp. 1359-1370.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Booth, DJ, Kingsford, MJ, Doherty, PJ & Beretta, G 2000, 'Recruitment of Damselfishes in One Tree Island Lagoon: Persistent Interannual Spatial Patterns', Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 202, no. 0, pp. 219-230.
The spatial and temporal patterns of distribution of new settlers of 23 species of damselfish (Pomacentridae) within One Tree Island lagoon, southern Great Barrier Reef (GBR) were measured for 3 summers to assess the persistence of spatial patterns of recruitment. Overall recruitment was 3 times higher in 1993/1994 than 1994/1995, and 1.5 times higher than 1999. In general, recruitment decreased towards the lagoon centre, even though habitat availability was not lower there on average, suggesting that most fish settled at outer sites as they were advected from adjacent waters. There was also great variation in numbers of recruits among outer sites. Patterns of recruitment to continuous reef and patch reef habitats also differed among species, suggesting habitat selection at this broad level. For example, Pomacentrus nagasakiensis was primarily found on patch reefs, while P. moluccensis was largely found on continuous reef. One site (Shark Alley) received the highest number of recruits of most species during the study, and this pattern has been observed in studies since 1975. Despite interannual variability in abundance of potential settlers and differences in the habitat preferences of some species, therefore, some sites on the reef can receive relatively high numbers of settlers over decadal time scales. This consistency of spatial pattern may be due to local topography and oceanography at Shark Alley, which appear to favour the input of potential settlers. The availability of live coral may also be important, but species which showed no preferences for live cover also recruited at high levels at this site. The attributes of Shark Alley were compared with those at other sites. Overall, sites that clustered on the basis of oceanographic and habitat features also had similar recruitment, suggesting that these features may be useful in predicting recruitment hotspots on reefs elsewhere.
Macfarlane, GR, Booth, DJ & Brown, KR 2000, 'The Semaphore Crab, Heloecius Cordiformis: Bio-Indication Potential for Heavy Metals in Estuarine Systems', Aquatic Toxicology, vol. 50, no. 0, pp. 1530166-0.
MacFarlane, GR, Booth, DJ & Brown, KR 2000, 'The Semaphore crab, Heloecius cordiformis: bio-indication potential for heavy metals in estuarine systems', AQUATIC TOXICOLOGY, vol. 50, no. 3, pp. 153-166.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Booth, DJ & Hixon, MA 1999, 'Food ration and condition affect early survival of the coral reef damselfish, Stegastes partitus', Oecologia, vol. 121, no. 3, pp. 364-368.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The supply of larvae is a major determinant of population and community structure in coral reef fishes. However, spatial and temporal variation in condition (i.e. quality) of potential recruits, as well as their density (i.e. quantity), may influence sur
Booth, DJ & Schultz, DL 1999, 'Seasonal Ecology, Condition and Reproductive Patterns of the Smooth Toadfish Tetractenos glaber (Freminville) in the Hawkesbury Estuarine System, Australia', Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, vol. 1999, no. 121, pp. 71-84.
Seasonal variation in population structure, diet, lipid condition and reproduction of the smooth toadfish, Tetractenos glaber, were monitored in Berowra Creek and Cowan Creek, two estuarine arms of the Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia. Tetractenos glaber is site-specific, feeding on benthic mussels and crustaceans. Reproduction occurs in April-July (winter), preceded by a buildup of somatic lipids in both sexes in February-April (Autumn). The liver appears to be a major source of lipid mobilisation, with total lipids varying among individuals from 20 to 90% of liver dry weight, and from 6 to 30% for muscle tissue. Recruitment occurred in November, and populations were composed of individuals up to at least 13 years of age. Sex ratios fluctuated seasonally, with a higher proportion of females sampled in winter, and more males in summer. The site-specificity, high abundance and benthic foraging behaviour of T. glaber suggest that it is largely estuarine-resident, and make it a potential bioindicator of the effects of degraded water quality on estuarine biota.
Booth, D 1998, 'Teaching evolution are we getting through ?', Australasian Science, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 40-41.
Booth, DJ & Wellington, G 1998, 'Settlement preferences in coral-reef fishes: Effects on patterns of adult and juvenile distributions, individual fitness and population structure', Australian Journal Of Ecology, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 274-279.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Coral-reef fishes exhibit a wide range of habitat preferences at settlement. However, the consequences of these preferences to fitness and population dynamics are poorly known. We critically evaluate evidence for these consequences from recent studies of
Booth, DJ 1995, 'Juvenile Groups In A Coral-Reef Damselfish - Density-Dependent Effects On Individual Fitness And Population Demography', Ecology, vol. 76, no. 1, pp. 91-106.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Costs and benefits to group living in animals may affect the fitness of individual group members and also demography of the population. The effects of grouping on the growth, survival, and attainment of maturity of juveniles of an Hawaiian coral-reef dam
Booth, DJ & Brosnan, DM 1995, 'The Role of Recruitment Dynamics in Rocky Shore and Coral Reef Fish Communities', Advances in Ecological Research, vol. 26, no. C, pp. 309-385.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This chapter evaluates evidence that recruitment dynamics of component species can exert a strong effect on processes at a community level. The chapter first defines settlement and recruitment, and discusses the uses and misuses of these terms in the current literature. Next, it evaluates evidence that rocky intertidal and coral reef fish species can indeed be considered open. Following this, the chapter reviews the dynamics of recruitment, highlighting the differences and similarities between the systems. The consequences of these recruitment patterns to population and community structure, by drawing empirical examples and summarizing existing conceptual models are discussed. Finally, these models and new insights are synthesized into composite models, and predictions and tests stemming from them are suggested. The chapter concludes by addressing the practical or management implications of recruitment and by recommending future research directions. Furthermore, the goal is to draw the attention of workers in other fields to significant findings in these systems, and to promote exchange of ideas between rocky intertidal and coral reef fish researchers. © 1995 Academic Press Limited
Booth, DJ & Beretta, G 1994, 'Seasonal Recruitment, Habitat Associations And Survival Of Pomacentrid Reef Fish In The United-States-Virgin-Islands', Coral Reefs, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 81-89.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Patterns of distribution and abundance of coral reef fish depend in part on recruitment of a pelagic larval stage, on subsequent dispersal among habitats, and survival of new recruits. We studied recruitment of five species of Stegastes and two species o
Booth, DJ 1992, 'Larval Settlement-Patterns And Preferences By Domino Damselfish Dascyllus-Albisella Gill', Journal Of Experimental Marine Biology And Ecology, vol. 155, no. 1, pp. 85-104.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In open populations, larval settlement dynamics may be an important determinant of subsequent distribution and abundance of juveniles and adults. A correlative and experimental study of larval settlement in the domino damselfish Dascyllus albisella Gill
Booth, DJ 1991, 'The Effects Of Sampling Frequency On Estimates Of Recruitment Of The Domino Damselfish Dascyllus-Albisella Gill', Journal Of Experimental Marine Biology And Ecology, vol. 145, no. 2, pp. 149-159.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Sampling frequency and methods can potentially affect estimates of demographic rates in population studies. To determine the effects of various sampling protocols on estimating recruitment rate, the rate of larval settlement by the coral reef damselfish
Booth, DJ 1990, 'Effect Of Water Temperature On Stomach Evacuation Rates, And Estimation Of Daily Food-Intake Of Bluegill Sunfish (Lepomis-Macrochirus Rafinesque)', Canadian Journal Of Zoology-Revue Canadienne De Zoologie, vol. 68, no. 3, pp. 591-595.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Booth, DJ 1987, 'Effect Of Group-Size On Population-Dynamics Of Juvenile Domino Damselfish (Dascyllus-Albisella)', American Zoologist, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 122-122.
BOOTH, DJ & KEAST, JA 1986, 'GROWTH ENERGY PARTITIONING BY JUVENILE BLUEGILL SUNFISH, LEPOMIS-MACROCHIRUS RAFINESQUE', JOURNAL OF FISH BIOLOGY, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 37-45.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Booth, DJ, Pyke, GH & Lanzing, W 1985, 'Prey Detection By The Blue-Eye, Pseudomugil-Signifer Kner (Atherinidae) - Analysis Of Field Behavior By Controlled Laboratory Experiments', Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 36, no. 5, pp. 691-699.
Observations in a brackish creek in E Australia indicate that blue-eye includes various kinds of insects in its diet in the proportions encountered, provided that they are below a maximum size dictated by the mouth-gape of the fish. Encounter rates are affected by prey body size and water turbidity, but not by hunger level of the fish. Fish fed on insects at 0.04-0.08 mg s-1
Booth, DJ, Pyke, GH & Lanzing, WJR 1985, 'Prey detection by the blue-eye, pseudomugil signifer kner (Atherinidae):Analysis of field behaviour by controlled laboratory experiments', Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 36, no. 5, pp. 669-691.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Observations in a brackish creek in eastern Australia indicate that the blue-eye, P. signifer, includes various kinds of insects in its diet in the proportions encountered, provided that they are below a maximum sizedictated by the mouth-gape of the fish. Encounter rates are affected by prey body size and water turbidity, but not by hunger level of the fish. Fish fed on insects at rates varying between O'04 and 0'08 mg s-1. © 1985 CSIRO. All rights reserved.
Booth, D, Feary, D, Kobayashi, D, Luiz, O, Nakamura, Y & Booth, DJ 2017, 'Tropical Marine Fishes and Fisheries and Climate Change' in Climate Change Impacts on Fisheries and Aquaculture A Global Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 875-896.
Covers an array of critical topics and assesses reviews of climate change impacts on fisheries and aquaculture from many countries, including Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, Chile, US, UK, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, India and ...
Booth, DJ, Poloczanska, E, Donelson, J, Molinos, J & Burrows, M 2017, 'Biodiversity and climate change in the oceans' in Phillips, B & Perez-Ramirez, M (eds), Climate Change Impacts on Fisheries and Aquaculture A Global Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 63-89.
Covers an array of critical topics and assesses reviews of climate change impacts on fisheries and aquaculture from many countries, including Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, Chile, US, UK, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, India and ...
Fowler, AM & Booth, DJ 2015, 'Fish habitat provided by Saipan's WWII submerged heritage' in McKinnon, JF & Carrell, TL (eds), Underwater Archaeology of a Pacific Battlefield: The WWII Battle of Saipan, Springer, Cham, pp. 117-134.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Booth, DJ, Figueira, WF, Jenkins, G & Lenanton, R 2012, 'Temperate Fish' in Poloczanska, ES, Hobday, AJ & Richardson, AJ (eds), A Marine Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Report Card for Australia 2012, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Australia, pp. 307-322.
Since the first report card, little on-the-ground research on range shifts of temperate fishes has been reported. Several reviews of range shifts of Australian coastal fishes (Booth et al 2011 and Madin et al. 2012) have highlighted approaches for collecting and applying the data. Research in Western Australia (e.g. Langlois et al 2010, Cheung et al. 2011) has shown that many species of groundfish and reef fish are distributed latitudinally based on clear water temperature gradients, suggesting that climate-change SST increases/differences will significantly affect ranges. Langlois et al. 2010 conclude that the old climatically buffered, oligotrophic seascape of southwestern Australia has provided a simple system in which the consistent influence of Temperate Fish 308 www.oceanclimatechange.org.au physiological gradients on the abundance and distribution of fish species can be observed".
Booth, DJ 2010, 'Natural History of Sydney's Marine Fishes: where south meets north' in Lunney, D, Hutchings, PA & Hochuli, D (eds), The Natural History of Sydney, Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, Australia, pp. 143-154.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Sydney has a speciose but little studied marine ichthyofauna, comprising elements of both tropical and warm/cool temperate origins. Recent surveys suggest that around 600 species have been found in Sydneys coastal waters, some of which are tropical visitors or cold-temperate vagrants. Here I briefly survey the diversity of Sydneys fish fauna, highlighting key aspects of life history that relate to distribution, and key habitats. Several iconic species are described in more detail, and local and climate change threats are outlined in relation to mitigation opportunities.
Booth, D, Provan, J & Maggs, CA 2008, 'Molecular approaches to the study of invasive seaweeds' in Seaweed Invasions: A Synthesis of Ecological, Economic and Legal Imperatives, pp. 65-76.View/Download from: Publisher's site
A wide range of vectors is currently introducing a plethora of alien marine species into indigenous marine species assemblages. Over the past two decades, molecular studies of non-native seaweeds, including cryptic invaders, have successfully identified the species involved and their sources; we briefly review these studies. As yet, however, little research has been directed towards examining the genetic consequences of seaweed invasions. Here we provide an overview of seaweed invasions from a genetic perspective, focusing on invader species for which the greatest amount of information is available. We review invasion processes, and rationalize evolutionary and genetic consequences for the indigenous and invader species into two main groups: (1) changes in genepool composition, in population structure and allele frequencies; and (2) changes in genome organization at the species level through hybridization, and in individual gene expression profiles at the levels of expressed messenger RNA and the proteome (i.e., all proteins synthesized) and thus the phenotype. We draw on studies of better-known aquatic and terrestrial organisms to point the way forward in revealing the genetic consequences of seaweed invasions. We also highlight potential applications of more recent methodological and statistical approaches, such as microarray technology, assignment tests and mixed stock analysis. © 2007 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, 10785 Berlin All rights reserved.
Harrison, P & Booth, DJ 2007, 'Coral Reefs: naturally dynamic and increasingly disturbed ecosystems' in Connell, SD & Gillanders, BM (eds), Marine Ecology, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, pp. 316-377.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Authors PL Harrison and DJ Booth
Booth, DJ 2004, 'Catchment Management' in A Guide to Berowra Valley Regional Park, Friends of Berowra Valley Regional Park, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, pp. 141-144.
Booth, DJ 2004, 'Estuarine fishes of Berowra Creek' in A Guide to Berowra Valley Regional Park, Friends of Berowra Valley Regional Park, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 93-95.
McLean, DL, Macreadie, P, White, DJ, Thomson, PG, Fowler, A, Gates, AR, Benfield, M, Horton, T, Skropeta, D, Bond, T, Booth, DJ, Techera, E, Pattiaratchi, C, Collin, SP, Jones, DOB, Smith, L & Partridge, JC 2018, 'Understanding the global scientific value of industry ROV data, to quantify marine ecology and guide offshore decommissioning strategies', Offshore Technology Conference Asia 2018, OTCA 2018.
© 2018, Offshore Technology Conference. This paper describes the potential global scientific value of video and other data collected by Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). ROVs are used worldwide, primarily by the offshore oil and gas industry, to monitor the integrity of subsea infrastructure and, in doing so, collect terabytes of video and in situ physical data from inaccessible regions and poorly understood marine environments. The paper begins by describing how recent ROV surveys for projects in Australia have gained a new dimension by involving marine scientists in their interpretation. A previously unrecognised influence of marine life on oil and gas pipelines was uncovered, triggering new collaborations between industry and marine science. This new collaboration prompted a team of international engineers and marine scientists to gather together with West Australian based members of the oil and gas sector and ROV operators, to examine the global scientific value of ROV-collected data. If made available for research, these data have immense value for science to quantify the marine ecology and assist good stewardship of this environment by industry. It was found that most ROV operations are conducted by industry in a way that fulfils immediate industry requirements but which can confound scientific interpretation of the data. For example, there is variation in video resolution, ROV speed, distance above substrate and time (e.g. both seasonal and time of day), and these variations can limit the quantitative conclusions that can be drawn about marine ecology. We examined potential cost-effective, simple enhancements to standard ROV hardware and operational procedures that will increase the value of future industrial ROV operational data, without disrupting the primary focus of these operations. The ecological value of existing ROV data represents an immense and under-utilized resource with worldwide coverage. We describe how ROVs can unravel the mysteries of our...
Beger, M, Babcock, R, Booth, DJ, Bucher, D, Condie, SA, Creese, B, Cvitanovic, C, Dalton, SJ, Harrison, P, Hoey, A, Jordan, A, Loder, J, Malcolm, H, Purcell, SW, Roelfsma, C, Sachs, P, Smith, SDA, Sommer, B, Stuart-Smith, R, Thomson, D, Wallace, CC, Zann, M & Pandolfi, JM 2011, 'Research challenges to improve the management and conservation of subtropical reefs to tackle climate change threats: (Findings of a workshop conducted in Coffs Harbour, Australia on 13 September 2010)', Ecological Management and Restoration.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper reports on a workshop conducted in Australia in 2010, entitled 'Management, Conservation, and Scientific Challenges on Subtropical Reefs under Climate Change'. The workshop brought together 26 experts actively involved in the science and management of subtropical reefs. Its primary aim was to identify the areas of research that need to be most urgently addressed to improve the decision-making framework for managers of subtropical reefs. The main findings of the workshop were a sustainable subtropical reefs declaration that highlights seven research priorities for subtropical reefs. These are to (i) conduct research and management activities across local government, state and bioregion borders; (ii) understand natural variability of environmental conditions; (iii) quantify socio-economic factors and ecosystem services; (iv) benchmark cross-realm connectivity; (v) know marine population connectivity; (vi) habitat mapping and ecological research; and (v) determine refugia. These findings are hoped to form a basis for focussing research efforts, leveraging funds and assisting managers with allocation of resources. © 2011 Ecological Society of Australia.
Booth, DJ 2000, 'Larval supply, condition and persistence of the coral reef fish, Pomacentrus moluccensis.', Proceedings of the Ninth International Coral Reef Symposium, Indonesian Institute of Sciences and the International Society for Reef Studies, Bali, pp. 463-466.
Spatial and temporal patterns in population dynamics of reef fishes are thought to be largely driven by patterns of supply of larvae to reefs. Most attention to date has been given to patterns in density of incoming larvae, while the condition, or physiological health, of larvae has been largely ignored. In this study, I demonstrate that recruit condition is variable in time and space, and that condition affects patterns of post-settlement survival and thus population dynamics. Recruit condition (measured as lipid content per dry weight) varied from 2 to 25% across three locations on the Great Barrier Reef, and differed considerably among successive recruit cohorts at each site. A multiple regression model showed that recruit condition, larval supply/recruit density explained 26-99% of the variation in abundance of juveniles 6 months post settlement, and varied considerably among geographic locations and years. While the relationship between recruit condition and recruit persistence differed at these scales, it is clear that recruit condition may decouple any relationship between larval supply and recruitment of coral reef damselfishes.
Salas, M, Cheal, A, Lough, J, McKinnon, D, Meekan, M, Sweatman, H, Coleman, M, Chambers, L, Dunlop, N, Church, J, Dowdney, J, Feng, M, Griffiths, S, Hobday, A, Matear, R, Poloczanska, E, Richardson, A, Ridgway, K, Risbey, J, Thompson, P, Thresher, R, Weller, E, Saintilan, N, Wilson, S, Lenanton, R, Hosja, W, Moore, P, Wernberg, T, Marshall, D, Connolly, R, Hill, K, Congdon, B, Devney, C, Fuentes, M, Graham, N, Hamann, M, Kingsford, M, Munday, P, Pratchett, M, Sheaves, M, Beardall, J, Brett, S, Waschka, M, Dann, P, Edgar, G, Swadling, K, Connell, S, Russell, B, Ward, T, Lukoschek, V, McGregor, S, Jenkins, G, Campbell, A, Steinberg, P, Anthony, K, Lovelock, C, Skilleter, G, Figueira, WF, Booth, DJ, Doblin, MA, Davidson, J, Holbrook, N, Howard, W, Kendrick, G & Smale, D NCCARF Publication 2009, Report Card of Marine Climate Change for Australia, pp. 1-2, Australia.